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US-Kuwait Trade Volume Reached a Milestone in 2012

Middle East : 22 February 2013

Source: Kuwait Times 2013

KUWAIT: The two-way volume of trade between the United States and Kuwait reached a milestone in 2012, says US envoy to Kuwait. Speaking at the 28th anniversary gala of the American Business Council Kuwait (ABCK) held at the Radisson Blu, Al- Hashemi II Ballroom, the US Ambassador to Kuwait, Matthew Tueller, said the trade volumes surged by 49 percent from $10.5 billion in 2011 to $15.7 billion in 2012. “The growth in trade and investment between the two countries continued over a positive trajectory throughout the last year which contributed to the Kuwait’s five percent annual GDP growth. Kuwait is now the 5th largest US export market in the Arab World.

The US maintained its position as Kuwait’s top supplier of goods,” he said. “In the US, we notified the Congress of foreign military sales contract worth $4 billion,” he mentioned. On the services front, Kuwaitis demonstrated their growing respect and demand for US higher education, he said, adding around 1,850 new Kuwait scholarships were provided by the Kuwaiti government to study in the US. There was also surging demand in health care and travel. The Embassy, according to ambassador Tueller, also processed nearly 40,000 visa cases last year, the largest volume ever in a decade. “All these numbers signal positive trends and developments in our enduring bilateral economic relationship.

I want to commend the ABCK for its ongoing contributions towards nurturing this relationship. “All of us – the American Business Council, companies, universities, NGOs, and the US Embassy – have unique but mutually reinforcing roles to play in this endeavor,” he said. “The ABCK has played an important role in strengthening the U.S.-Kuwait commercial relationship. My team and I are committed to supporting US companies and their business goals in Kuwait,” he added. He said both sides always aspired for transparent, open, free and fair business environment. The US continued to be the source for the Direct Foreign Investment in Kuwait including management expertise. The envoy also mentioned that the two countries would continue to work hard in the domain of Intellectual Property Rights. “IPR protection is significant for both the US and Kuwait for the growth of domestic industries,” The envoy said.

Tueller also spoke about his country’s unwavering support for the Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects as these empower people and create jobs and opportunities for many and the next generation. In his opening remarks, ABCK Chairman Gregg Stevens welcomed the visitors, among others, from Kuwait National Assembly, including Safa Al-Hashem, Ministry of Commerce Undersecretary Dr Mansour Al-Sayed and from the Ministry of Interior, Lt. Comm.
Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, apart from the US embassy employees. He stressed the importance of greater cooperation between the US embassy and ABCK and the chambers of commerce and industry of both countries. As Kuwait prepares for the upcoming celebration of Kuwait’s National Day and Liberation Day, Stevens also extended his wishes to its people for both these great occasions. “During the 28 years of ABCK, we had the pleasure of meeting and working with great deal of people from various government and non-governmental agencies, the Embassy, the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the US Chamber of Commerce,” he said.

Muna Al-Fuzai, ABCK Executive Director, also thanked the sponsors, special guest and visitors for gracing the 28th Gala anniversary celebrations. “For many years, the US and Kuwait have been close friends and allies as trade between our nations survived and continuously progressed. ABCK’s role has been vital, and as the council, we remain committed to our mission in promoting services and products,” she said.

The American Business Council of Kuwait is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of American business and American business interests in the State of Kuwait. ABCK strives to promote better awareness of American businesses, products, and services in Kuwait. ABCK provides a forum for American business and business interests, and advocates the enhancement of the business climate within the State of Kuwait. ABCK seeks to proactively promote an understanding of the challenges and issues facing American business interests operating abroad.

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