Kuala lumpur- “ASWAQ”
the Malaysian Kuwaiti diplomatic relations trace back to the 1970’s, where the initiation of this relation started as Malaysia opened its first embassy in Kuwait in 1974 ushering solid ties with the Arab world, then following through Kuwait opened its first embassy in Kuala Lumpur in the year 1981, ever since the bi-lateral relations between both nations has been strong into addition to the mutual vision on international issues and constant coordination in foreign and international policies and mutual agreements and treaties witnessed in the recent visit of the Malaysian Prime Minister “Najib Abdul Razaq” to Kuwait.
In light of these positive recent development on several aspects between both nations, and in the occasion of the Kuwaiti National Day, ASWAQ has had the pleasure to interview H.E Saad Abdullah Al-As’ausy , the Kuwaiti Ambassador in Malaysia:
Question: After this introduction of the history of relations between both countries, How do you evaluate said relations?
Let me start with the economic ties, where it began with important agreements in developing mutual trade, as it is well known that Malaysia has a great economic and trade potential, and Kuwait being a leading oil-exporting nation possess great potential as well arising the urge to cooperate between both countries, as Kuwait exports oil to Malaysia, into addition to trade, where the trade between Malaysia and Kuwait is evaluated at 1 billion USD today in comparison with 79 million USD in the year 1996, this represents a great leap in the nature of this trade relation between both countries matching the political ties, as the general policies of both countries aims for more development and increase in trade, such as agreements to prevent double taxation and encouraging investments.
Question: How can you describe investment between both countries?
Investment between both countries started long time ago, as Kuwait has huge investments in Malaysia such as in Islamic banking, Oil, real estate, and many other companies, as Kuwait Finance Bank is one of the leading banks in Malaysia. In turn, we are very concerned with encouraging more investment and opening up new opportunities between both nations, and constantly invite Malaysian business men to invest in Kuwait in our vision to increase investments.
Question: How do you evaluate tourism between Malaysia and Kuwait?
We can confidently say that tourism have been increasing, as recently about 23,000 Kuwaiti tourists visited Malaysia, making up a decent portion of all Arab tourists visiting Malaysia, as Kuwait Airlines have regular direct flights to Malaysia, as we do know that tourism is important for a country like Malaysia contributing to development, as we make sure to cooperate with Malaysia on all aspects of this field. As for Malaysia, it’s very attractive to the Kuwaiti tourist, the reasons being the great weather, the ease of access as no visa is required, the availability of airlines flying here at reasonable prices, hotels, transportation amongst many other safe and convenient tourist attractions.
Question: How would you describe the relations between both countries in terms of Education?
The matter of fact is Kuwait carefully analyse the quality of education at universities before sending any Kuwaiti student on a scholarship, and indeed, many Malaysian universities have been tested and passed, as currently we have about 350 Kuwaiti students studying in Malaysian universities, and we are working hard to double this number in the upcoming years, and in this occasion i’d like to invite Malaysian universities to promote themselves in Kuwait and tailor courses and programs to attract more Kuwaiti students.
Question: Kuwait has just celebrated its national day, what does this occasion mean to you and Kuwaiti people?
Without a doubt this occasion means a lot to me and to Kuwaiti people, as each year on the 25th and 26th of February we celebrate both the national day and independence day, allow me to express my congratulations to His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah through your magazine, as well as congratulate all the people of Kuwait on this happy and dear occasion, as we take great pride in this day and appreciate the gift of security and stability in Kuwait making if one of the developed nations worldwide.