KUWAIT: The volume of trade exchange between Kuwait and Britain reached $4 billion last year, British Ambassador to Kuwait Michael Davenport said. Speaking at a press conference on the opening of the Kuwait-Britain exhibition, Davenport lauded the growing trade exchange between the two countries. He pointed to other big chances to boost fruitful cooperation between the two friendly states. He stressed the depth of the historical relations between the two sides, pointing out that commercial and economic cooperation with Kuwait is a key part of the development of the bilateral ties.
The ambassador pointed to many British companies working in Kuwait, affirming that the embassy is keen on facilitating the duties of the British investors and firms. On military cooperation, he referred to a tangible development in the military ties between the two sides, and to the signing of the joint declaration last May on the defense, training and military exercises domains. He revealed that some British military personnel arrived in Kuwait two days ago to take part in a three-day drill with the Kuwaiti forces.
‘Treaty of Friendship’
The three-day British Trade Expo kicked off on Monday at Sheraton Hotel; the 10th exhibition organized by Al-Jabriya Exhibition Group under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah. Ambassador Davenport thanked the organizer on yet another milestone in the area of trade. The exhibition coincided with the 120th anniversary of a ‘Treaty of Friendship’ between Kuwait and Britain. “Although Britain first established ties with Kuwait as long ago as 1775, this treaty marked a new phase in our relations, ushering in a period of ever-closer cooperation and partnership,” he said.
“I thank Ahmed Ismael Behbehani, Chairman of Al-Jabriya Exhibition Group, who brought here together an excellent range of British companies from many different sectors. It has been a pleasure for the British Embassy and our department of international trade to support them in celebrating British-Kuwaiti cooperation,” Davenport said.
With regards to trade and investment between the two countries, Davenport noted they are on an upward trend on both sides. “Kuwait continues to invest strongly in the UK. More and more companies from the UK are seizing opportunities in Kuwait, especially in the energy, infrastructure, education, health and IT sectors. Trade volume has increased by 10-20 percent in the last two years. There is lots of potential for more growth. We are very appreciative for Kuwait being a major investor in the UK. More and more Kuwaiti students are also pursuing their studies in Britain than ever before,” he said.
Prince William’s visit
Davenport also announced the upcoming visit of Duke of Cambridge Prince William to Kuwait early next month. “We do not have details of the visit as yet, but what was already announced earlier was that he is going to visit two countries in the Gulf – Kuwait and Oman. We are all looking forward and with lots of anticipation to welcome him,” he said.
Behbehani said this year’s expo is the most important economic event for Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf, as it brings together British and Kuwaiti companies and institutions to celebrate both past and future successes. This year’s expo witnesses the participation of organizations showcasing the latest British products and commodities as well as financial, legal, health, medical, educational, training, investment, motor vehicles and other important goods and services.
Al-Jabriya Exhibition Group started its activities in 1997 and it grew from strength to strength. It has succeeded in attracting the highest levels of visitors ever since. Some of the exhibitors include Kuwait Times, HSBC, BSK, British Airways, Jazeera Airways, KES, Top Gear, Costa Coffee, Ataya, Ernst & Young, Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, McLaren, etc.
By Ben Garcia and KUNA