Al-Roudhan keen to attract more Turkish ‘investments’
Kuwait’s plan to become regional commercial, financial hub
ISTANBUL, Sept 16, (KUNA): Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan on Friday called on Turkish investors to tap into the promising opportunities in his country’s economic development plan.
Kuwait’s plan to become a regional commercial and financial hub includes ambitious projects that provide ample opportunities for Turkish investors, he said.
Al-Roudhan, also acting minister of state for youth affairs, made the comments in a speech to the Islamic Finance News (IFN) Turkey Forum 2017.
The forum, being held at Crowne Plaza Istanbul Oryapark, gathered Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anas Al-Saleh, Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci and Board Chairman of Borsa Istanbul Himmet Karadag as well as senior economic decision-makers and business leaders from both countries.
The Kuwaiti-Turkish relations are posed to open new horizons for the partnership marked with prosperity and mutual benefit thanks the huge potentials of both economies, Al-Roudhan said. Turkey enjoys a resilient economy and unique geographical location that provides gateway for Kuwaiti investors to Europe, he noted.
The State of Kuwait is proud of open economic policy and deep-rooted relationship with Turkey which was strengthened by numerous pacts in the economic and commercial areas.
The bilateral trade volume hit $1.28 billion last year with the Kuwaiti exports to Turkey amounting for $846 million and the imports worth $431 million, the minister said, voicing hope that the trade volume will rise to $1.5 billion by the end of 2017.
Kuwait is Turkey’s largest investor from the Gulf region in the real property sector. Kuwaiti investors own more than 6,000 real property, including 1,640 that were bought in 2016.
Turkey is the 14th largest exporter to Kuwait in Q3-2016 with $120 million-worth exports and the 15th largest importer from Kuwait with nearly $19 million imports.
A total of 280 Kuwaiti investors do business in Turkey in addition to 388 branches of Kuveyt-Turk Bank - a private joint venture of where Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has 62.24 percent stake.
The total value of Kuwaiti direct investment in Turkey amounts to $1.7 billion, the minister went on.
On the other hand, Turkish companies invest in 30 projects in Kuwait, including the project to upgrade Kuwait International Airport where Limak Construction was awarded a $6.3 billion worth contract.
On his part, Turkish minister of economy said the economic partnership with Kuwait grew remarkably in the recent years thanks to the top-level visit exchanges.
Zeybekci noted, in his address to the gathering, that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to visit Kuwait soon and His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah will visit Turkey in return.
Turkey strives to become the world’s second fastest growing economy after its exports hit $170 billion, he said, voicing hope that the trade exchanges with Kuwait will grow further this year and meet the aspirations of both sides.
Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states are working on a free trade agreement, Zeybekci added.
In later statements to KUNA on the sidelines of the forum, Al-Roudhan praised Turkey as a strategic economic depth for Kuwait.
He called on investors from the GCC states to seize the promising chances in the fastgrowing economy of Turkey.
The Kuwaiti minister lauded the outcomes of the recent visit to Ankara by His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, noting that economic issues featured prominently on the agenda of the visit.
Top: Minister of Commerce and Industry and Acting Minister for Youth Affairs Khaled Al-Roudhan during a meeting of the Turkish Economic Forum held in Istanbul. Above: Minister Khaled Al-Roudhan with Turkish Minister of
Economy Nihat Zeybekci and senior officials during the Turkish Economic Forum.