Published On: Sun, Nov 9th, 2014

U.S. Diplomat: Kuwait is America’s reliable energy partner in medium term

Senior commercial officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait

Senior commercial officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait

Senior commercial officer at the U.S. Embassy Dao Le said that Kuwait is a major partner especially in the field of energy, adding that Kuwait will maintain this position well into the medium term, as there is no other alternative for the US. Therefore, Kuwait is a safe partner in energy. The U.S. diplomat stated in his interview with KUNA that trade exchange between the two countries mostly consists of Kuwaiti oil exports. He added that trade exchange between the two countries jumped by 167 percent during the last four years, rising from USD 5.7 billion in 2009 to USD 15.2 billion by last year. Figures also showed good growth this year.
When asked about FATCA, he said that preliminary talks continue between Kuwait and the U.S. to reach an agreement, adding that negotiations are still in initial phase, especially regarding an initial agreement between the Treasury and the Ministry of Finance in Kuwait.
He clarified that it is not possible to specify the number of Kuwaitis with U.S. citizenship.
Last May, the Ministry of Finance announced that Kuwait joined the list of countries that initially agreed with the Treasury on FATCA. This is the initial phase to strike an agreement that gives legal cover to banks and financial institutions to comply with FATCA.
When asked about the effect of U.S. dollar’s exchange rate on U.S. exports, he said that the Kuwaiti market largely depends on the highest, cutting-edge technology and reliability.
It is an income-rich market, therefore a slight change in the price will not affect the volume of two-way trade, he said.
He called on Kuwaiti investors to attend the Select USA summit, which is an opportunity to explore direct foreign investments in the U.S. Representatives from the federal and county level from most of the 50 states plan to attend the summit and can be in direct contact with investors to inform them of direct foreign investment opportunities.
He added that the summit has a special importance as the US Administration prioritized this in its economic policy. Kuwait is ranked the United States’ 17th fastest growing source of direct foreign investment.
He pointed out that one of the important reasons that drive investors to enter the U.S. market include America’s competitiveness, innovative research and entrepreneurship, intellectual property protection, diverse national resources, educated and productive workforce, and low-cost and stable energy.
In addition to the size of the U.S. market that has around 310 million consumers, foreign investors can benefit from the U.S. as a platform to export to 750 million consumers around the world in countries that have free trade agreements with the U.S.
Dao Le mentioned that the U.S. is the biggest international market in terms of attracting investment.
The total stock of direct foreign investment in the U.S. reached USD 2.8 trillion by the last year, with USD 230 billion in 2013 alone, making the U.S. top destination for direct foreign investment attractiveness.
When asked about the U.S. economy, Dao Le said that continuous growth was achieved during five consecutive years, adding that the housing sector is now coming back. The U.S. economy was able to create 9.2 million jobs in the past four years.

Source : KUNA Kuwait News agency

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