The "Qatari-Kuwaiti Business Forum", which was held on Wednesday at the headquarters of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, discussed ways of enhancing economic and trade co-operation between both countries.

The forum was held in the presence of Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani; Qatar Development Bank (QDB) CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa; Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice president Abdulwahab Mohamed al-Wazzan, and a large number of businessmen from Qatar and Kuwait.

In his speech, Sheikh Khalifa stressed the depth of the historical and fraternal relations between Qatar and Kuwait, which witnessed “continuous development, and achieved great prosperity” under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah.

Sheikh Khalifa said the staging of the "Made in Qatar" exhibition in conjunction with the Qatar-Kuwait Business Forum reflects the desire of both countries’ private sector to transfer those relations to higher levels of co-operation in a way that reflects positively on the Qatari and Kuwaiti economies.

He said it also meets the aspirations of the two countries as the forum aims to increase trade exchange, review available investment opportunities, and work together to establish trade alliances and joint projects.

Sheikh Khalifa said trade exchange in 2018 stood at QR4.3bin over QR2.5bn in 2017, with a record growth rate of 72%. In 2019, the value stood at QR3.1bn at the end of the third quarter, compared to QR2.8bn for the same period in 2018, or a growth of 11%.

He said commercial and economic co-operation between Qatari and Kuwaiti business sectors formed 635 joint companies operating in the Qatari market.

Al-Wazzan said Kuwaiti businessmen are emulating Qatar in terms of its success in establishing strong economic bases, advanced infrastructure, wide communication network, and effective international relations, among others.

He said the Kuwait Vision 2035, which is based on transforming Kuwait into a commercial and financial centre, and the Qatar National Vision 2030 are both aimed at achieving sustainable development.

Also, al-Wazzan stressed that in light of both national visions, Qatar and Kuwait “are co-operating to push for the Gulf economic integration. In terms of trade figures, al-Wazzan said Qatar and Kuwait recorded an 80% growth in the last three years.

He also expressed optimism on the navigation line between Hamad and Shuwaikh ports, saying both facilities would help contribute to promoting growth.

Al-Khalifa said the various economic sectors in Kuwait are witnessing “a qualitative shift and continuous growth,” similar to the industrial sectors in Qatar, which has made “very advanced strides” in manufacturing high-quality and competitive products locally, regionally, and globally.

He said QDB, through its export development agency ‘Tasdeer’, is keen to be a vital bridge between the various components of the private sector in Qatar and other countries.

Al-Khalifa said in 2019, the number of Qatari companies participating in the co-ordination meetings held with external partners reached 79, an increase of 25% compared to the previous year, as well as the establishment of more than 20 pavilions in international exhibitions.

‘Tasdeer’ played a leading role in concluding contracts worth QR560mn between Qatari companies and external buyers, as well as helping 15 Qatari companies penetrate markets outside Qatar during the same year.

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