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Kuwait strengthening oil cooperation with Vietnam

news002"The upcoming visit by Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah demonstrates the desire of Kuwait in strengthening the cooperation with Vietnam, especially in the oil field," Kuwait's envoy in Vietnam said on Sunday.

"The upcoming visit by Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah demonstrates the desire of Kuwait in strengthening the cooperation with Vietnam, especially in the oil field," Kuwait's envoy in Vietnam said on Sunday.

"Nghi Son Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. Company was a very promising start for the cooperation in the field of oil between Kuwait and Vietnam, and I expect more of this to come following his visit from Tuesday," Kuwaiti Charge' d'affairs Osama Al-Obaid said in an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), referring to a joint venture between Kuwait, Vietnam and Japan.

"Highlights of Sheikh Ahmad's state visit will be meetings with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Industry and Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang, as well as working sessions with PetroVietnam leaders," Al-Obaid said, expressing hope that a series of talks will become significant occasions to bring the two countries' ties to a further height.

"Since Kuwait became the first Gulf state to establish diplomatic ties with Vietnam in 1976, bilateral relationship has grown day by day, especially with the special support of our two prime ministers and the desire of both countries to speed up the cooperation in all fields," he said.

H.H the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AI-Mohammad AI-Ahmad AI-Sabah visited Hanoi in May 2007 and his Vietnamese counterpart Dung visited Kuwait in March 2009. Kuwait's state ministers and high-level delegations have also visited here while the two nations have signed a number of agreements.

"Oil cooperation has been the largest boost so far in two countries' relations with the realization of Nghi Son Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. Company worth USD six billion investment," Al-Obaid said. The 200,000-barrel-per-day refinery is expected to go onstream by 2014.

"The two-way trade turnover is increasing," he said, underlining that the two nations signed the Minute of Understanding during the first session of the Kuwait-Vietnam Joint Committee last December, which is seen as "a base of further economic cooperation."

Asked about targeted cooperation with Vietnam in the next stage, the diplomat said the two countries likely to place priority on investment. Finance Minister Mustafa AI-Shamali and Kuwait Investment Authority General Director Bader AI-Saad are expected to visit here in the coming months with an eye to explore opportunities for investment in Vietnam, according to Al-Obaid.

With its population of over 80 million people, Vietnam is considered a large consumption market and enjoys strategic location in South Asia as well as political and social stability which are all pivotal to development of foreign investment. The nation's economy has continuously seen a high growth rate, at around 7-8 percent. Despite the impacts of the global economic crisis, the country still recorded a GDP growth rate of over 5 percent last year.

Al-Obaid spoke highly of his government assistance to Vietnam through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) in supporting its infrastructure projects, noting that Kuwait has financed nine infrastructure projects worth USD 124 million in Vietnam since 1979. Among them, three projects have been signed since the Kuwaiti Embassy opened in Hanoi in August 2007 and the latest was a USD 14 million loan to upgrade mountain roads in northern Dien Bien Province. "Those projects have been proving the effectiveness in the development courses of the rural areas in Vietnam and I look forward to more projects to be approved and implemented for the sustainable development of Vietnam," he said.

As for Kuwait's scholarship program for bright young people in Vietnam to study in Kuwait, Al-Obaid said his embassy sent applications for two Vietnamese students last month to study Arabic at Kuwait University.

dtinews.vn

 
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