National Day of France celebrated in Kuwait
Ambassador of France H.E. Claire Le Flecher, has stressed that the depth of bilateral relations between her country and Kuwait are crystal clear. The French envoy was speaking during the National Day (Bastille Day) celebrations at her residence, attended by Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Majdi Al-Dhafiri, and a host of ambassadors and eminent personalities.
Highlighting the development of relations between the two countries in various fields, including trade, investment, education and culture, Ambassador Le Flecher said she values the permanency of Kuwaiti diplomacy and its constant emphasis on dialogue, negotiation and the search for solutions. In particular, she underlined Kuwait’s role at the Al-Ula summit in Saudi Arabia last year, as well as its work this year with Lebanon, expressing her country’s thanks to Kuwait, especially the Minister of Foreign Affairs, for its active participation in resolving this diplomatic crisis with other Arab countries. She pointed out that the French government also highly appreciated the speed and clarity of the positions taken by the Kuwaiti authorities in international forums.
On the economic front she said Kuwait and France enjoy very strong economic ties. “Trade and investment are a key aspect of our global bilateral relationship, and we certainly wish to see them increase in the future,” said the envoy, adding that she considers this an essential part of her objectives.
France is the third largest European trader with Kuwait and their exports span a very large spectrum, from aircraft to perfumes, from machinery and electrical supplies to chocolates, from medicines and vaccines to fashion.
Kuwaitis are highly product-educated, incredibly well-traveled and utterly discerning customers. They enjoy the French lifestyle, what we call “art de vivre français” and always head for the top tier quality. They value the blend of tradition and creativity infused in French luxury products, Ambassador Le Flecher noted.
She also pointed out that the trade relationship goes far beyond high-end consumer products. France is a technology-intensive nation and they supply the vast majority of planes Kuwaities would fly this summer to spend their vacation, both to the national carrier, Kuwait Airways, the oldest airline in the region, and to Jazeera, which actually flies only Airbus planes.
Besides, France was a significant direct investor in Kuwait. “I gather that more than a quarter of foreign companies benefiting from the KDIPA regime are French. And this goes two ways: Kuwaiti stock of foreign direct investment in France stands well over 400 M EUR. The state of Kuwait, through KIA, has also been for decades a significant investor in France, as a prime destination for equity and fixed income investing in the Euro area.
In conclusion, she pointed out that she has been glad to experience personally, through various highly interesting encounters, the dynamism of Kuwaiti civil society and its commitment to be an active contributor, in order to develop constructive approaches to tackle various social issues. “I think this is a healthy sign of the democratic spirit which is well alive in Kuwait, and I believe it to be a strong asset for the future of the country.”