India, Kuwait resolve to strengthen ties

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New Delhi, Jul 3 (UNI) India and Kuwait today reaffirmed commitment to strengthening bilateral ties and raising them to new levels, including in areas of energy, petroleum and trade and economy.

At the second meeting of the Indo-Kuwait Joint Ministerial Commission for Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation which concluded here today, the two countries also reviewed the progress in bilateral ties since the first meeting of the Joint Commission held in November 2006 in Kuwait.

At today's meeting, four Working Groups dealing with diverse subjects like labour, employment and manpower development, trade, investment and finance, energy, petroleum, petrochemicals and fertilisers, science and technology, information technology, communications, education and health, explored opportunities for furthering bilateral cooperation in these areas.

The Indian delegation at the three-day talks was led by Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed while the Kuwaiti side was headed by their Finance Minister Mustafa Jassim Al-Shamali.

''The two sides took stock of the progress made since the first JCM and reiterated their commitment to strengthen bilateral ties and raise them to a new height,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said here.

India and Kuwait have close, friendly, deep-rooted and multi-faceted ties.

The State visit to India by the Amir of Kuwait in June 2006 gave a new thrust to the multi-faceted and comprehensive partnership between the two countries.

Indo-Kuwaiti bilateral trade, excluding oil, was approximately 800 million US Dollars in 2006-2007.

Kuwait is a major supplier of oil and oil products to India accounting for approx 12 per cent of total crude imports to India.

More than 600,000 Indians live and work in Kuwait. There are several Indian public and private sector companies working in Kuwait.

The next meeting of the Joint Ministerial Commission would be held in 2009 in Kuwait.

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