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Diplomat seeks to better synergize BRI with Kuwait's 2035 Vision

By MO JINGXI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-03-30 18:06

Jasem Ibrahem Al-Najem, Kuwait's ambassador to China, speaks at an event held by Taihe Institute in Beijing. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Jasem Ibrahem Al-Najem, who arrived in China last September, said his primary task as the Kuwait's ambassador to China is to better synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with Kuwait's 2035 Vision, thus stimulating greater potential of bilateral cooperation in different areas.

"The fact that China and Kuwait don't have any complicated issue in terms of politics makes it easier for the two countries to develop friendly relations in economy, trade and culture," Jasem told China Daily.

In 1971, Kuwait became the first Gulf Arab country to establish diplomatic ties with China. Over the past years, significant growth has been witnessed in various areas, including energy, trade and economy, finance, infrastructure construction and culture. China has been the largest trading partner of Kuwait for nine consecutive years, with two-way trade exceeding $22 billion in 2023.

According to the ambassador, the two countries' diplomatic relationship was built on the clear foundation of mutual trust and common interests, which reflected not only the shared vision of the leaders of both countries, but also the desire of the people from both sides to promote friendship.

"I believe we still have the opportunity to further expand our bilateral trade from the current level," Jasem said, mentioning the ambitious urban development projects proposed in Kuwait's 2035 Vision.

In 2014, China and Kuwait signed a cooperation document on jointly building the Belt and Road. Over the past decade, the two sides have achieved positive results in areas such as infrastructure construction, energy, investment and telecommunications when aligning the BRI with Kuwait's 2035 Vision. Chinese enterprises have undertaken a number of major projects in Kuwait that contributed to local socioeconomic development.

"We welcome Chinese companies to continue making contributions to the implementation of giant projects in Kuwait due to their rich experience and expertise," he said.

The ambassador said that Kuwait is also considering to work with China to establish a hub in Kuwait for all the Chinese merchandise and goods to be exported to other countries in Africa or even Europe.

As Kuwait's 2035 vision aims to transform Kuwait into a financial and trade hub regionally and internationally, Jasem said his country found that China is the right partner to implement most of the vision.

The ambassador also said that the new Kuwaiti government, which was formed earlier this year, has established a committee under the cabinet at its first meeting to follow the seven memorandums of understanding on large-scale construction projects signed during Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's visit to Hangzhou last September.

One MoU is on the construction of a solar power plant in Kuwait, which Jasem said is a latest example of the two countries' cooperation in reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment.

According to the ambassador, the committee is directly under the leadership of Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. "It's rare to happen, which means Kuwait actually focuses on implementation of those MoUs. We are serious to take the areas of our cooperation to a broader level," he said.

"I believe we have to put the train on the track and increase the speed to implement our current cooperation agreements for more mutually beneficial results to be achieved," he added.

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