Vietnam, Kuwait foster relations

(VOVworld) – Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheik Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabad began a 3-day official visit to Vietnam on Thursday. The visit is intended to boost friendship and cooperation between the two countries in trade, oil and gas, labor, agriculture, and tourism.

Vietnam, Kuwait foster relations - ảnh 1

Kuwait became one of the first countries in the Middle East to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam on January 10, 1976. In 2007 it became the first member of the Gulf Cooperation Council to open an embassy in Hanoi and a consulate in HCM city.

Fruitful cooperation   

Kuwait provided Vietnam with valuable support during its past struggle for national liberation. Bilateral relations have been consolidated through a number of visits, including Prime Minister Al-Sabad’s visit to Vietnam in May, 2007, and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Kuwait in March, 2009.

The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development has underwritten many development projects in Vietnam since 1979. Kuwait has had 16 ODA projects in Vietnam’s rural areas focusing on transport, healthcare, education, and irrigation. Vietnam has been one of Kuwait’s top ten exporters. The Nghi Son oil refinery project in Vietnam’s Thanh Hoa province was signed in 2008 between PetroVietnam, Kuwait Petroleum International, and 2 Japanese partners. Construction of the 10 billion USD project began in 2013 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. In March, 2016, Hanoi’s Department of Planning and Investment licensed a joint venture between Kuwait Petroleum International and Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan company to distribute petroleum products in Vietnam.

Vietnam exports to Kuwait apparel, footwear, seafood, wood products, computers, electric devices, vegetables, pepper, coffee, and tea and imports petroleum, plastics, chemicals, fertilizer, and leather. Vietnam began sending guest workers to Kuwait in 1996. Approximately 600 Vietnamese workers are working in Kuwait in construction and oil and gas. Kuwait has given scholarships to 16 Vietnamese students to study Arabic. The number of Kuwaiti tourists visiting Vietnam annually is on the rise. Vietnam has become the 37th country whose citizens can obtain a visa on arrival at Kuwait International Airport. Vietnam and Kuwait have signed a number of cooperation agreements, including a framework agreement on economic, scientific, and technological cooperation, a trade agreement, an air transport agreement, a protocol on cooperation between the two foreign ministries, an agreement on investment encouragement and protection, a cooperation agreement between the two ministries of industry and trade, an agreement on double taxation avoidance, and an agreement on exempting diplomatic and official passport holders from visa requirements. In February, 2016, the Kuwaiti government recognized Vietnam’s market economy status.

Promoting traditional friendship

Vietnam and Kuwait have supported each other at regional and global forums over the last 40 years. Prime Minister Al-Sabad’s visit will be an opportunity for Vietnam to show its appreciation of Kuwait’s role and position in the Middle East and the Gulf region.