By Khaled Al-Mutairi
SHANGHAI, Nov 19 (KUNA) -- The relationship between Kuwait and China has seen a swift development during the past few years as the two countries share a mutual interest to attain a strategic economic partnership that links "New Kuwait 2030" vision with "Belt and Road" initiative through an integrated system of bilateral economic cooperation.
The essence of "Belt and Road" initiative comes in line with "New Kuwait 2030" vision as Beijing and Kuwait seek to revive the historic Silk Road and establish a vital commercial zone to serve various world countries and contribute in the prosperity of global economy.
Kuwait's participation in the Silk Road project, by itself, reflects its strategic vision to transform into a regional and international commercial hub and restore its pioneering commercial and economic role in the region.
Furthermore, Kuwait is the first Gulf country to sign a memorandum of understanding on the "Belt and Road" initiative with China, seeking to revive the Silk Road to change the shape and dynamics of international relations.
China has become Kuwait's number one commercial partner since the past two years, as well as second-largest buyer of Kuwaiti crude oil and its derivatives, confirming, by that, its distinctive economic relationship with the GCC-member state as the volume of trade between them has reached nearly USD 12 billion in 2017.
Currently, there are more than 40 Chinese companies in Kuwait with capitals estimated at USD 20 billion. Reciprocally, Kuwait is the first Arab state to invest in the China Investment Corporation since 2005, with total investments that recently reached nearly USD 10 billion.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's visit to China in July 2018, has also expanded the Kuwaiti-Chinese ties to wider prospects and embodied the two countries' desire to boost their strategic partnership.
His Highness the Amir was invited as a guest of honor to inaugurate the 8th Ministerial Sino-Arab States Economic Forum, becoming the first Arab leader to share the opening speech with Chinese President Xi Jinping since the launch of the forum.
During the forum, His Highness the Amir reiterated that there were talks with Chinese friends on gigantic future projects that reflect a real partnership with Beijing, referring to practical steps in this regard like the Silk project and Kuwait Islands, voicing absolute confidence in the Chinese leadership's directions and credibility.
He also underlined the utmost importance of cooperation between the two sides in the energy sector through carrying out mega investment ventures in oil and natural gas, and tapping the Chinese expertise in the peaceful use of nuclear and renewable energy.
Moreover, His Highness the Amir also elaborated that China is ranked the second importer of Kuwait's oil and its derivatives, adding that Kuwait's non-oil exports to Beijing reach USD 480 million, while China's exports to Kuwait hit USD 5.1 billion, pointing to Kuwaiti huge investments in China. (end) km.kna.ma