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Diplomatic Link - Kuwait Economic

Kuwait is one of the most economically powerful countries in the Middle East
科威特 – 中東經濟強國之一
Kuwait is a country located in the Middle East, overlooking the Arabian Gulf Sea. Its neighbours are Iraq and Saudi Arabia. In 2007, Kuwait’s population was 3.4 million. Islam is the state religion and its official language is Arabic, although English is widely spoken. Kuwait’s capital is Kuwait City and its currency is called the Kuwaiti Dinar (1000 fils). Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy ruled by Al-Sabah family. Kuwait has gone through major developments after discovering oil in the 1920’s. It has advanced rapidly in every aspects of life. Kuwait largely depends on oil revenue as its main source of income.

Kuwait is one of the most economically powerful countries in the Middle East, providing a beacon to the Arab world. Its influence around the rest of the globe has grown considerably in recent decades, and one of the major contributing factors to its increased international presence has been the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, more usually known as the Kuwait Fund.

Asia has been a major beneficiary of the Kuwait Fund, which has distributed its largesse among a wide variety of projects in countries as far apart as Afghanistan and Vietnam, and the Philippines and Bangladesh. The Kuwait Fund has also operated with particular success in China.

Relations between the two countries go back many years, having got off to a good start in 1964 when the late Emir of the State of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, then the Minister of Finance, made an official visit to China.

Ties were strengthened further in 1982 with the Kuwait Fund’s first foray into the PRC, when it made a US$46 million loan to assist in financing the Ningguo Cement Factory.
Over the past quarter century, the Kuwait Fund has continued to operate in China, financing more than 30 major projects with concessionary loans valued at around US$826 million. The various recipients have included the transport, energy, agriculture and industry sectors. Hand in hand with the work of the Kuwait Fund, amicable ties between China and Kuwait developed in other spheres such as increased trade and economic relations, and many Chinese companies have taken on projects in Kuwait itself.

The Kuwait Consul General in Hong Kong, H.E. Mr. Bader S. Al-Tunaib, commented: “The Kuwait Fund is a force for good in the developing world, and has already helped thousands of people in many different countries.

“Kuwait is glad to share its wealth with developing nations, and thereby foster good relations with them for the future.

“Whatever the scale of the project aided by the Kuwait Fund, the resultant benefits are countless. We are especially glad to be working with the People’s Republic of China, with whom Kuwait has long been good friends. “Projects like the road and hospital construction are of great value to everyone concerned, and we look forward to continued cooperation in the future.”

The relationship between the State of Kuwait and Hong Kong developed during the last nine years since the Consulate of Kuwait opened in 1999. There are many agreements that have been signed between the two sides. The two sides witnessed growing number of business and official delegations' visits during the last few years. I expected that the relations will improve between the two sides.
Three important agreements have been signed between Kuwait and Hong Kong. They are as follows:

1.The Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement.
2.The Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement
3.The Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement.

Kuwait places a great deal of importance on education for our development. We see Hong Kong with its world class educational system as a natural choice to partner with. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Higher Education signed Memorandums of Understanding with the University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

According to statistics in 2010, the imports of Kuwait from Hong Kong reached HK$ 823 million. They include watches, clothes. jewellery, toys and furniture. On the other hand, Kuwaiti exports to Hong Kong reached HK$ 1.147 million. They include petroleum products, cars' spare parts and plastic products.

The State of Kuwait is trying to diversify its investments. The state’s main sovereign wealth fund, the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) holds assets in access of $200bn. Kuwait Investment Authority is investing in Many countries around the world. Kuwait investment Authority has recently established and office in Beijing to cope the large investment of KIA in Both China and Hong Kong.

Historical background :
The geographic location of Kuwait was a meeting point for the civilizations of the old world. Kuwait's long eventful history was marked by stands and sacrifices to safeguard territory and tradition despite all obstacles and difficulties. The people of Kuwait displayed.

Heroism that was recorded in history, transmitted from generation to generation, and told in tales and songs. It was a heroism which stemmed from diving and its hardships, from surviving the harsh conditions of life in the desert, and from bravely and steadfastly warding off any invaders who threatened Kuwait's independence.

Kuwaitis earned a living from the sea through patience, perseverance, and struggle. When the oil industry was developed, the resources were used to tame the desert through construction and the planting of greenery. The oil resources were also used for the good of the Kuwaiti people and their brothers and sisters in developing countries around the world.

Rather than befriend a tyrant or surrender to an aggressor, Kuwait stood firm in the heart of all battles. The battle of resistance against aggression was followed by the battle of extinguishing the oil fires and of rebuilding a ravaged nation. During the period of the Iraqi occupation, from August 2nd, 1990, to the liberation on February 26th, 1991, the inhabitants of Kuwait once again gave evidence of their unwavering strength and determination.

Parliamentary Life:
Kuwait has known consultation system as the basis of government since 1920 when the first state consultative council was formed in the Gulf and Arab peninsula in the reign of Ahmed al – Jaber.

In 1961, After liberation, new parliamentary life started by electing the members of the constituent assembly who enacted the state's constitution.

The National Assembly :
Democratic experience in Kuwait has become more mature, aware and open since the establishment of the parliament in 1963. he fifty-seat assembly is elected every four years.

Currently there are five geographically distributed electoral districts. Every eligible citizen is entitled to four votes, though one may choose to only cast one vote. The ten candidates with the most votes in each district win seats. Cabinet ministers (including the prime minister) are granted automatic membership in the Assembly, which increases the number of members in the assembly from fifty to sixty-six. The Cabinet ministers have the same rights as the elected MPs, with the following two exceptions: they do not participate in the work of committees, and they cannot vote when an interpolation leads to a no-confidence vote against one of the Cabinet members.

Kuwait Economic Plan :
Kuwait strategic economic plan is worth 30 billion dinars (US$104 billion). On the agenda is a detailed roadmap to implement Kuwait economic plan a long-term strategy after years of short-term planning.
The state of Kuwait does not want to be overshadowed by the other gulf states any longer. Although the northern gulf state is less present on the global media stage, Kuwait wants to attract foreign investments, people, and know how for multi-billion KD projects at home. On top of this, the ruling family is preparing its people for a future which will likely not have much in common with the sheikhdom’s past, economically.
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