Kuwaiti, Egyptian ministers stress importance of economic integration

KUWAIT, Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan and his Egyptian counterpart Amr Nassar agreed Wednesday on the importance of economic integration between their respective nations.

This joint statement came during the one-day Kuwaiti-Egyptian cooperation forum held under the slogan “Brothers, Partners”.

The event is held under the auspices and with attendance of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

During a session titled (Strategic Partnership… Promising Reality and Hopeful Future), both ministers stressed that both countries were seeking to bolster cooperation to achieve the aspiration and dreams of people in Kuwait and Egypt.

Minister Al-Roudhan, on his part, said that increasing commercial exchange between the two countries must go through active and real participation by the private sector.

Kuwait took various steps to implement economic reforms in an effort to attract foreign investments and most likely investments from the fellow Arab countries especially Egypt, said the minister who revealed that there were roughly 1,144 Kuwaiti companies operating in Egypt.

Providing similar input, Egyptian minister Nassar said that ties between Egypt and Kuwait were “historic”, affirming that people from both nations were eager to achieve economic integration.

The forum today focuses on achieving such goal, which will be beneficial for both Kuwait and Egypt, said minister Nassar who affirmed that his country embarked on a number of economic reforms in the past two years to attract Arab and foreign investments.

He called on Kuwaiti investors to seek business opportunities in Egypt, stressing that his country has much to offer.

Meanwhile, Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority’s (KDIPA) Director General Sheikh Dr. Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah said that his country is keen on attracting lucrative investments that would benefit both consumers and producers.

He noted that Kuwait was embarking on a quest to diversify its income shifting from an oil-based economy to multifaceted one able to compete and benefit itself and others.

On her part, Shaikha Al-Bahar, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer of the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), said that the bank was keen on introducing advance technology to the Egyptian market.

Since the NBK entered the Egyptian market in 2007, the bank managed to post profit beyond EGP 1.5 billion (around USD 83.7 million), said Al-Bahar, affirming that the bank was confident of the strength of the Egyptian economy and its ability to further grow in the future.

Providing input from the Egyptian banking sector, Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Export Development Bank Dr. Ahmed Galal said that this sector in Egypt was developing fast, affirming that it was able to attract investments from abroad.

Thanks to reforms by the Egyptian government and the central bank in the last seven years, Egypt managed to overcome various challenges towards economic prosperity, said the official.

Reflecting similar sentiments, Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) Vice Chairman Tarek Tawfik said that reforms in Egypt were having a positive impact on the economy.

Hopefully such reforms would increase the involvement of foreign investors, stated Tawfik who affirmed that Egypt had much to offer to the region and the world.

Source: Kuwait News Agency