Oil Minister, Chinese delegation discuss boosting energy, water cooperation
$709 million deal to develop South Matlaa infrastructure
Means of promoting bilateral cooperation in the energy and water sectors, as well investing in Kuwait’s Silk City and five islands projects, featured high on the agenda of a meeting Oil Minister Essam Al-Marzouq held with a visiting Chinese delegation yesterday.
Emerging from the meeting, the minister said that he and the Chinese discussed boosting ties in the oil, electricity and water sectors. Marzouq explained to the delegation Kuwait’s needs of future energy in fields like exploration for oil, and investments in oil refineries as well as petrochemical complexes overseas. In addition, the two sides discussed Kuwait’s needs of energy over the coming two decades, namely establishing power plants, either to be operated by fossil fuel or alternative energy.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s ambassador to China Samih Hayat said that the visit is part of efforts to boost bilateral cooperation in energy, trade and investment. Such steps go in line with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah’s strategic vision ‘Kuwait 2035’ and China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Hayat noted. The Kuwaiti envoy stressed sincere mutual desire to consolidate ties, saying this is part of His Highness the Amir’s desire to develop Kuwait into a regional and international financial and commercial hub.
The visiting delegation includes experts and specialists from several government departments in China, among them the China Development Bank, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Urban Planning Society of China, the China Association of Development Zones, the China Transport Company and the China International Energy Group Co, Ltd (CIEG), besides other state bodies in infrastructure and giant projects.
In the meantime, a Chinese firm has signed a contract with the Kuwaiti government worth KD 215 million ($709 million) to develop infrastructure and roads for a new housing project in Kuwait’s South Matlaa, a Kuwaiti official said. The contract, signed during the visit of the official Chinese delegation, involves works for 18,000 housing units in the new city located west of Kuwait City, Kuwait’s State Minister for Housing Affairs and State Minister for Services Yasser Abul said. It comes on the heels of several contracts in the housing and communications sectors, and reflects the positive outcome of the visit, he added, without specifying the company that signed the deal.
Furthermore, Chinese technology and smartphone giant Huawei will execute the second phase of a fiber optics project in Kuwait, after it signed a KD 22 million ($72 million) contract with Kuwait’s Ministry of Services, Abul said.
He commented that the diverse nature of sectors Chinese companies are handling in Kuwait illustrates the “combined determination to develop these sectors, to reach new levels of cooperation and to boost bilateral relations” with Kuwait.
Kuwaiti-Cino relations are in “constant development and growth” as more and more Chinese companies are dealing with the Kuwaiti government, he said, particularly in the housing sector. The minister went on to welcome further investment from Chinese construction and building materials firms to benefit from the vast investment opportunities in Kuwait’s housing sector.
Earlier yesterday, Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah met with members of the Chinese delegation, as their discussion focused on finding ways to collaborate within the framework of the ‘Kuwait 2035’ development strategy.
Also, Minister of Public Works Abdurrahman Al-Mutawa and the visiting Chinese delegation discussed means of promoting bilateral ties in all fields. The official Chinese delegation arrived yesterday on a four-day visit to Kuwait for boosting relations and promoting strategic cooperation for the good of both sides, the Ministry of Public Works said in a statement. Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad visited China last May for fostering bilateral ties, focusing on the goals of the ‘Kuwait 2035’ vision. During the visit, Sheikh Nasser met with China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao.
The official Chinese delegation, which arrived in Kuwait on Monday, has been discussing matters related Kuwait’s development plan and ways it could contribute to China’s recreation of the ancient Silk Route, nicknamed the Belt and Road global trade project. The Chinese intend to do this through the development of strategic projects, including Kuwait’s planned Silk City project, a 250 sq/km free trade zone in the northern Subbiyya region and Kuwait’s five islands. — KUNA
Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah meets with a delegation from the China Development Bank (CDK).
KUWAIT: Oil Minister Essam Al-Marzouq attends a meeting with the Chinese delegation. —KUNA
Minister of Public Works Abdurrahman Al-Mutawa meets with the visiting Chinese delegation.
Kuwait’s State Minister for Housing Affairs and State Minister for Services Yasser Abul attends a meeting with the official Chinese delegation.
Oil Minister Essam Al-Marzouq (left) greets a member of the Chinese delegation, as Kuwait’s ambassador to China Samih Hayat (center) looks on.
Oil Minister Essam Al-Marzouq speaks during the meeting