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Sun 17 Aug 2008 12:01 PM

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Kuwait seals $27bn of investments in Asia

Gulf state agrees economic, oil, health investments with nine countries on Asian tour.

Kuwait signed more than $27 billion of investment agreements with nine Asian countries, including Brunei and the Philippines, during an Asian tour this month, its finance minister said in remarks published on Sunday.

The agreements were in the economic, oil, health and foreign affairs sectors, daily Awan cited Mustapha Al-Shamali as saying.

"The value of the accords and economic and commercial protocols are more than $27 billion, with $3 billion to $4 billion of investments and possible commercial partnerships with each country," Al-Shamali said.

Al-Shamali and Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah went on a tour of eight Asian countries this month to boost trade ties.

Kuwait would also "cooperate with South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines, in the health sector", Al-Shamali said, without giving details.

Kuwait is talking with Asian countries, including Cambodia, about securing food supplies and investing in agriculture as the Gulf state looks to diversify its sources of food, the state news agency KUNA reported on Saturday.

A delegation including the Kuwait Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund, will visit Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar this month to look at investments in agriculture and industry, KUNA cited Al-Shamali as saying on Saturday.

Kuwait wants to boost investments across asset classes in Asia with a focus on Japan, China and India, Al-Shamali said last month.

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