London Mayor on mission to lure Kuwaiti investment

Boris Johnson set for official visit to Gulf state; vows to 'iron out any difficulties' on UK investments
London Mayor on mission to lure Kuwaiti investment
Mayor of London Boris Johnson. (Getty Images)
By Andy Sambidge
Sun 10 Nov 2013 02:00 PM

London Mayor Boris Johnson is to visit Kuwait on Monday to discuss Kuwaiti investments in the UK, saying he is willing to "iron out any difficulties" to facilitate deals.

Johnson said in an interview with Kuwait News Agency that he welcomed Kuwaiti investments, both state and private, in London as well as in other British cities.

The mayor, due on a two-day official visit to the State of Kuwait as of Monday, told KUNA that it was his duty as mayor to encourage Kuwaiti investments in London.

He said the announcement of the Kuwaiti Government of plans to increase investments in the UK and in London in particular were "most welcome".

The Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Mustafa Al-Shimali, said in July Kuwait intended to hike investments in the UK in the infrastructure sector.

The Kuwait Investment Authority has more than doubled its investment in Britain over the past 10 years to more than $24bn.

Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund, which manages state assets in the world's fourth-biggest oil exporter, is the oldest sovereign fund tracked by the SWF Institute with an estimated $342bn in assets, one of the world's largest.

Johnson said he will meet with senior officials in government and in KIA, as well as with businessmen to discuss good investment opportunities in the English capital.

He said he hopes to attract new investments to London, while at the same time providing London-based businesses and companies the opportunity to find partners in Kuwait.

Johnson said: "We insist on seeing even higher volume, and so the Kuwait visit program is rich in important meetings, befitting the strong relations between the two nations."

The official said he would be conveying a message to Kuwaiti officials "that the English capital is a city open to investment and would provide all required facilities to attract foreign capital".

Represented by Kuwait Investment Office in London, Kuwait is among the top investors in the British capital, and the office is a main player in the British market as it manages investment projects worth no less than £150bn.

UK exports to Kuwait increased by 17 percent in 2012, following an official visit to Kuwait by British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011.

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