Kuwait strengthens economic ties with Myanmar

Other News Materials 7 August 2008 11:15 (UTC +04:00)

Oil-rich Kuwait has signed two economic agreements with gas-rich Myanmar as part of Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammed al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah's tour of the region, state media reports said Thursday.

Nasser visited Myanmar's military capital of Naypyitaw on Wednesday and held talks with Prime Minister General Thein Sein to discuss bilateral relations, said The New Light of Myanmar, a government mouthpiece, dpa reported.

The two premiers witnessed the signing of an "Agreement for the Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of investment between the Union of Myanmar and the State of Kuwait" and an "Agreement for Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Union of Myanmar and the State of Kuwait."

Myanmar, a pariah state among Western democracies for its atrocious human rights record, is one of Asia's most backward economies. It is, however, rich in offshore natural gas reserves which last year earned the country about 2.6 billion dollars in export revenues.

The Kuwaiti premier has been on a tour of Asia that has already taken him to Brunei, Japan, South Korea, Cambodia and Laos. He will also visit Thailand August 13 to 14.

In Laos and Cambodia, Nasser expressed Kuwait's interest in investing in the two countries' agricultural sectors.

Kuwait is oil-rich but largely covered in desert, making it difficult to grow enough food for its 2-million-plus residents.

"This is a new policy of Kuwait and the Persian Gulf as a whole," said Lao Foreign Ministry spokesman Yong Chanthalangsy. "Now they have extra money from oil, so they are looking further afield for investments. This is good for us because we have economic potential but lack capital."