Kuwaiti-Japanese Businessmen’s Committee Plays Vital Role: H.E. Ambassador Al-Otaibi

Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi on Thursday hailed the Kuwaiti-Japanese Businessmen's Committee's vital role in strengthening the historic bilateral ties between Kuwait and Japan.

"Since its establishment in 1995, the regular meetings of the committee have proven their importance among our countries' businessmen, and have also had positive effects in the fields of economy, education, culture and society, " Al-Otaibi made remarks on the occasion of the 18th meeting of the just-concluded Kuwaiti-Japanese Businessmen's Committee in Tokyo. He underlined the historic state visit to Japan by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in March 2012, which had "various fruitful results, including the reconfirmation of the importance of the committee." The one-day business talks on Wednesday brought together some 90 representatives from various sectors of the two countries, including 70 from the Japanese side, in which they explored a potential bilateral partnership with a particular focus on the health sector as a new area of cooperation.

The annual forum came after the visit to Kuwait by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in August. "The prime minister was accompanied by a delegation of representatives from the economic and commercial circles. This reflects the importance that he places on these sectors in strengthening the relations between our countries," Al-Otaibi said.

"His visit also resulted in setting a clear vision for our bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy and development in parallel with Kuwait's ambitious development plan which we hope that the private sector in Japan would play a key role in implementing." At Wednesday's forum, Kuwaiti Co-Chairman of the committee Khaled Al-Sager highlighted that many projects under the Kuwaiti Development Plan will be coordinated with the private sector through build-operate-transfer (BOT) or public-private partnership (PPP).

"Such projects need strategic foreign partners with advanced technology and technical know-how as well as international marketing networks. We believe that Japanese partners can participate effectively in implementing these projects," said Al-Sager, who also serves as Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Deputy Chairman.

The Kuwaiti delegation included Supreme Council for Planning and Development Secretary General Dr. Adel Al-Wugayan, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research Director General Dr. Naji Al-Mutairi and representatives from other government agencies and private sectors. In a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Dr. Al-Wugayan revealed that his council is currently in a process to work on the 2nd Mid-range Plan, and aims to get approval from parliament next February, adding that the next Mid-range Plan will be of much interest to Japanese companies. The Kuwait Development Plan is designed to transform the country into a regional trade and finance center through sustaining economic development, economic diversification, and GDP growth.

The meeting was organized by the Japanese Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME), the organization which has been promoting Japan's investment and transfer of technology to the Middle East. Established in 1973 under the sponsorship of the Japanese government, JCCME has long played a bridging role between Japan and the countries in the Middle East and the North Africa region on the private-sector level by providing cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, economy and technology. It also has a Japan Desk in Kuwait, which plays a bridging role between private companies of Kuwait and Japan to help them establish joint ventures. The ambassador hosted a welcome reception for the participants on Tuesday evening. (end) mk.gta KUNA 031126 Oct 13NNNN