By Hatem Khedr
KUWAIT, April 9 (KUNA) -- Desiring to enhance investment cooperation with Kuwaitis, a delegation from the government of Gran Canaria, one of the seven islands that comprises the Spanish Archipelago Canary Islands, is visiting some Kuwaiti corporations to encourage businessmen to invest in the island which is under the legal umbrella of the European Union.
"We have met with senior officials of some Kuwaiti companies such as Agility, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and National Technology Enterprises Company (NTEC)," Jimena Delgado-Taramona, head of the Society for the Economic Promotion of Gran Canaria, told KUNA in an interview.
She said they are interested in investing in the island due to its unique conditions, adding that these companies will be mostly attracted not only by the tax regime but also by the logistics benefits it offers.
"We are in Europe, but with some tax benefits in an island that offers a natural privilege geographical location in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean between Africa, Europe and America," she noted.
The Gran Canaria falls under the Special Tax Regime of Canary Islands (REF), one of the most attractive fiscal schemes in Europe which includes the Special Economic Zone (ZEC) that offers only 4 percent corporate tax and incentives as the Special Investment Reserve (RIC) that aims to further reduced taxes.
The island has become a logistic hub for international corporations that work in Africa, but live in our island, she added.
She noted that Kinross, a large mining company in the world, has already headquartered in Gran Canaria to attend its mining business in Mauritania and Ghana.
She stated that international institutions like USAID, the Red Cross or the World Food Program have also settled in the island its humanitarian hub that serves Africa.
Although the island is a tourist destination that receives about four million visitors a year, it seeks to attract Kuwaiti investors in other areas such as clean energy, marine technology, biotechnology and logistics, Delgado-Taramona said. As for the outcome of the visit she said: "This visit has past our expectations, lauding Kuwaiti generosity and hospitality." She hopes that Kuwaitis would come to invest in the island and also to have vacation, asserting that they will enjoy moderate weather there.
She added Kuwaitis expressed their satisfaction with all opportunities in the island. She noted companies are increasingly choosing the island for its location as a gateway to emerging markets in West Africa and a distribution platform between Africa, Europe and America.
"Our port is the main one in the Mid Atlantic with Norwegians, Germans and Americans locating their business there on repair and maintenance of oil rigs as well as other services for the oil-rich region of West Africa," she made clear. "We have been in the region for almost eight years and we feel that Spanish people and culture are very close to Kuwaitis," Nayra Delgado, GGC's Managing Director, told KUNA.
"Therefore, it is easier for Kuwaitis to establish long-term relations with our companies in Spain and vice versa," she affirmed. (end) hm