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Kuwait eyes free trade agreement with Australia
April 14, 2015, 8:52 am

Kuwait is seeking to sign a free trade agreement with Australia with the aim of boosting trade between the two countries, Minister of Finance and acting Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas
Al-Saleh said Monday.

Kuwait attaches great importance to increasing cooperation and trade with Australia as the latter possesses great potential elements as well as economic and technological facilities where Kuwait can take advantage of, Saleh said after meeting the visiting Australian Minister of Trade and Investment Andrew Robb.

He noted an increase in the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries as Kuwait’s exports to Australia in 2013 (without oil exports and its derivatives) stood at about 16.6 million Kuwaiti dinars ($50 million), while imports amounted to 160 million Kuwaiti dinars ($552 million).

Ali Al-Ghanim, President of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, meanwhile underscored the importance of relations between Kuwait and Australia on the political and economic levels as the latter is an important partner in the field of food security.

Ghanim said during a meeting with Robb that they discussed economic cooperation between the two countries as Australia is among the most important countries in the automobile industry as
well as in the field of infrastructure, stressing the keenness of the Chamber to enhance cooperation in the areas of joint investments and trade.

He added that the current period is a good opportunity to do so in light of the existence of a huge financial liquidity to the Kuwaiti private sector as well as the exploitation of Kuwait as an important trading gate with respect to re-export to neighboring countries, especially that the Kuwaiti investor possesses excellent experiences through the establishment of successful projects in various countries of the world.

Robb meanwhile said that the main objective of his visit to Kuwait was to promote and strengthen the joint economic relations, reflecting the strength of political ties, indicating that despite the existence of strategic partnerships with respect to livestock and grain with Kuwait, however, they are not up to the desired level.

He expressed the hope that the ongoing negotiations would result in the signing of a free trade agreement between Australia and the Gulf Cooperation Council states at the earliest opportunity, indicating that such a step would open up new trade and investment horizons between the two countries. — KUNA

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