Chinese vice premier calls for China, Kuwait to merge development strategies
2017/08/28
 

KUWAIT CITY, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on Tuesday called for a stronger partnership between his country and Kuwait, highlighting energy cooperation and a need to synergize their respective development strategies.

During his visit to the Gulf Arab country, Zhang, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, met with Kuwaiti officials including the Emir, the prime minister, and the deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

STRONGER ENERGY COOPERATION

The Chinese vice premier said China is ready to deepen energy cooperation with Kuwait.

China would like to join Kuwait in nurturing a long-term and stable partnership over the supply and demand of energy, and in deepening their energy cooperation, Zhang said when meeting with Kuwait's Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

China and Kuwait have enjoyed a deep and traditional friendship, said Zhang, noting that during a visit to China in 2014, Jaber reached consensus on a number of issues with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, which have effectively promoted the development of bilateral ties.

He said the two sides have since worked to achieve steadfast cooperation in all areas, calling on the two countries to increase exchanges between both governments, legislatures, and local authorities.

In a separate meeting on Tuesday with Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Kuwait's deputy prime minister and foreign minister, Zhang also called on both sides to focus on energy cooperation and create a lasting energy partnership that integrates the upstream and downstream.

HIGHLY COMPATIBLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES

The Chinese vice premier called on China and Kuwait to further integrate their respective development strategies.

When meeting with Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Zhang said China and Kuwait are trusted friends and genuine partners for cooperation, noting that China's Belt and Road Initiative and the "Kuwait 2035" vision are highly compatible.

He called on the two sides to further integrate their respective development strategies to complement the other's advantages and spur development.

The Belt and Road Initiative, first put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, is aimed at building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road through concerted efforts of all related countries and benefiting all participants by promoting unimpeded trade, financial integration, connectivity of infrastructure and closer people-to-people exchanges.

"Kuwait 2035," or the Kuwait National Development Plan, is aimed at transforming the country into a regional financial hub by 2035 via 164 strategic development projects. It also aims to increase foreign direct investment by 300 percent.

Furthermore, Kuwait is now developing a new business hub widely known as Madinat al-Hareer, or Silk City. It also announced plans in 2015 to develop five islands off its coastlines into free trade zones.

These projects are where the two countries can work together under the Belt and Road Initiative so as to support Kuwait's national economic transition, Zhang said.

China is ready to encourage Chinese companies to participate in building railways, ports, roads, bridges, housing and other projects related to the Silk City and islands development projects, Zhang said when meeting with Al-Sabah, the deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

Kuwait is the first leg of Zhang's four-nation tour. He heads to Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Namibia next.

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