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Japan vows support for Kuwait’s development

Tokyo, Japan's head of the Kuwaiti-Japanese Businessmen's Committee reaffirmed on Tuesday his country's continued contribution to the economic growth of Kuwait.

As Japan heavily relies on Kuwaiti crude oil, our country shall actively invest and expand businesses in Kuwait in return, which will contribute to the development of the Kuwaiti economy and employment promotion, Japanese Co-Chairman of the committee Hiroshi Saito told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) after the committee's annual meeting in Tokyo.

For that purpose, our committee aims to help remove obstacles that Japanese companies many face, said Saito, renewing committee's intention to facilitate the necessary support and cooperation to that end.

For example, the committee has played a significant role in the abolishment of offset programme that had caused troubles for Japanese firms operating in Kuwait. Participants at Tuesday's meeting had active discussions about the development of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries, according to Saito, who is Honourary Advisor of Mizuho Financial Group.

This year, in addition to representatives from the private sector, many of those from the government sector attended at the meeting. We had an in-dept discussion covering projects under the New Kuwait 2035 development plan, and the establishment of a government agency for the promotion of the related investment, as well as the development of the Kuwait stock exchange, he added.

There was also presentation about current status of an electricity and water project, and other key economic issues in Kuwait, while the Japanese side offered Japan's intention to support in the field of water and its experience of small and medium enterprises.

Saito offered optimistic view of more Japanese private sector's involvement in Kuwait given that Kuwait enjoys economic stability despite the current geopolitical risks in the Middle East.

Kuwait's financial system is stable enough to withstand an oil-price slump. Kuwait can be a lucrative market for Japanese firms. I hope Kuwait will create a market that will include Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which will be more appealing to Japanese enterprises, he said.

Tuesday's committee meeting, which was co-chaired by Saito and Board Member of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce Tareq Al-Mutawa, brought together some 90 government officials and businesspersons from various sectors of both economies.

The committee was organised by the Japanese Cooperation Centre for the Middle East with the objectives of encouraging and promoting feasible and viable projects and joint ventures available in both countries.

The annual gathering is seen as the most important framework to strengthen partnership between the government officials and businesspeople of the two countries.

Source: Bahrain News Agency