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Kuwait, Korea expand bilateral relations

The following is the message by Muteb Al-Mutoteh, ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the Republic of Korea, on the National Day. ― Ed.

The Embassy of the State of Kuwait is celebrating the 51st anniversary of National Day on Feb. 25 and the 21st Liberation Day of the State of Kuwait on Feb. 26. On this delightful occasion, I would like to take this opportunity to extend the regards and best wishes of the people and government of the State of Kuwait to the friendly people and government of the Republic of Korea.

Bilateral relations between Kuwait and South Korea have grown and expanded in various fields over the last 33 years since the official diplomatic relationship between the State of Kuwait and the Republic of Korea was established in June 1979.

Kuwait has especially maintained a close relationship with the Republic of Korea on the economic front. In 2011, bilateral trade volume reached $16.3 billion, an increase of around 36 percent from the year before, proving that South Korea is a major trading partner to Kuwait.

Korean companies have succeeded in getting numerous bids worth billions of dollars in constructing oil infrastructure, which will become the main centers for oil, and expanding the oil ports construction field. These Korean companies have actually succeeded in a bid for a project regarding oil gathering in Al-Ahmadi governorate worth $2.85 billion and also for expanding Al-Ahmadi port, a deal worth $850 million. In addition, back in Kuwait, a number of small, medium and large Korean companies are actively participating in key state-run projects.

South Korea, as one of the largest customers of Kuwait oil and oil products, imported more than 104 million barrels of crude oil which makes Kuwait the second largest crude oil importing country for Korea. In exchange, Kuwait oil tanker companies have had Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering construct oil and gas tankers for Kuwait. Furthermore, the Kuwait government and companies have ordered various construction projects through Korean companies such as SK and Hyundai Engineering & Construction. The economic cooperation between the two countries is mutually beneficial to both and generates significant synergies and greatly contributes to the co-prosperity of the two friendly nations.

In the year 2011, numerous visits in various fields between the two countries also contributed deeply to the development of bilateral relations. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, president of the Olympic Council of Asia, paid an official visit to the Republic of Korea in November 2011.

Also a delegation from the Kuwait Fire Service Directorate led by General Jassim Al Mansouri attended the naming ceremony for the fire fighting boat (MOJAWEB) on March 7, 2011, and another delegation from the Ministry of Justice headed by Acting Attorney General Darrar Al-Assousi represented the State of Kuwait in the 4th World Summit of Prosecutors General.

Another delegation from the Security Decisions Follow―up Committee visited the Oil and Gas Command, Control and Crises Management Center in the Republic of Korea in September 2011 to exchange information about training requirements that complement the ability to build in the fields of command and control, incident management and integrated emergency management response within the oil and gas sector.

The State of Kuwait had the honor of participating in the 8th Korea-Middle East Cooperation Forum which was held on Jeju Island in October 2011 and the main theme was “Strengthening the Korea-GCC Relationship in a Time of Change.”

On the other hand, the minister of land, transport and maritime affairs of Korea, Kwon Do-youb paid a visit to the State of Kuwait in which he met with the Kuwait Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and discussed bilateral cooperation and issues of mutual interest.

I would like to express my sincere hope that the people and the government of the Republic of Korea continue to enjoy peace, stability and prosperity.
Muteb Al-Mutoteh
Muteb Al-Mutoteh

By Muteb Al-Mutoteh, Ambassador of Kuwait to Korea