KUWAIT: Lord Mayor of London, global ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services industry, Peter Estlin said yesterday that the total worth of mutual investments between Kuwait and UK reached About $4.4 billion in 2018. The amount of investments reached about GBP 3.5 billion, with in an increase of eight percent since 2017.

“Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) has been investing in the UK since 1952 and it is considered one of the oldest leading investment funds in the world,” said the Mayor during a meeting held in the Kuwait Banking Association (KBA). The Mayor affirmed that Brexit does not affect UK’s leading financial role because of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) supported by the British rules, in addition to his country’s commitment to training and education provided by the best universities in the world.

“We do not look at Brexit as a challenge, we look at it as an opportunity that gives us stronger collaborations with people outside Europe, such as Kuwait,” the Mayor continued. “London is the biggest international center in financial and banking technology considering the amount of workers that reached 45,000 with an income estimated GBP 6.6 billion about $8.4 billion,” the Mayor added.

Foreign investments

In other news, Minister of Commerce and Industry and the Minister of State for Services Khaled Al-Roudhan yesterday affirmed significance of the achievements in the Kuwaiti economy, recoded over the past two years, namely successful attraction of foreign investments. Roudhan, speaking at the ‘second Kuwaiti-American economic forum,’ has mentioned some of the concrete steps at this level; that foreign investors have been allowed to possess and trade in stocks of Kuwaiti banks, that Kuwait has improved its ranking in the international competition in 2018 and Boursa Kuwait has been uplifted to the level of an emerging market.

Meanwhile, Ali Al-Ghanim, Chairman of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in a statement following the forum session that the chamber has been seeking to elevate its bonds with many states at the economic levels-namely the ties with the United States of America. The relations between the United States have significantly improved, particularly following the visit by His Highness the Amir to Washington in 2017, minister Roudhan added.

Earlier, the chamber deputy chairman, Abdulwahab Al-Wazzan, said during the session that the US is the second commercial partner for Kuwait, with trade exchanges between the two countries estimated at $7 billion. The US lured more than half of the Kuwaiti public investments, he said, adding that both the private and public Kuwaiti businesses in America are valued at 600 billion. – KUNA

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