Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. — Photo VNA
Viet Nam News -HÀ NỘI — The three-day visit to Việt Nam by Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah from today is expected to boost bilateral co-operation in various fields, especially trade, oil and gas, employment, agriculture and tourism.
During the visit, which is made at the invitation of PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, the two sides are scheduled to discuss issues of shared concern.
Việt Nam and Kuwait established diplomatic ties on January 10, 1976. Việt Nam opened its trade representative office in Kuwait in June 1993, and its Embassy in the Middle East nation in October 2003.
Kuwait opened its Embassy in Hà Nội in August 2007 and its Consulate-General in HCM City one month later.
The two sides signed a range of agreements, covering such areas as economy, science, technology, trade, tax, air transport, visa exemptions and foreign affairs.
In February 2016, the Kuwaiti Government recognised Việt Nam as having a market economy.
During the 2011-2013 period, two-way trade exceeded US$700 million with $836.7 million recorded in 2011, mostly driven by Việt Nam’s diesel imports from Kuwait.
Last year, due to the impact of the falling oil prices and the decrease in Viet Nam’s imports of Kuwaiti diesel, bilateral trade stood at only $220 million.
Việt Nam mainly exports garments-textiles, seafood, wood and timber products, computers, electronics, fruit, vegetables, pepper, footwear and porcelain products to Kuwait.
Its major import items are oil, fertilizer, plastic materials, fabric, chemicals and apparel materials.
In the oil and gas sector, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) is partnering with Japan in the Vietnam-based Nghi Son Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Complex Project worth $9 billion, under which the Kuwaiti side will provide crude oil for the plant.
Construction on the plant began in October 2013, it is scheduled to be put into operation in late 2017.
In March 2016, the Hà Nội Department of Planning and Investment granted an investment licence to a joint project by Kuwait Petroleum International Ltd (KPI) and Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd to deliver oil and gas products in Viet Nam.
Via the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, Kuwait has given loans worth about $160 million to Việt Nam to help the country implement 13 rural infrastructure development projects. — VNS