BEIJING: Head of the apparatus for developing Silk City and Boubyan Island Faisal Al-Medlej and NDRC Vice Chairman Ning Jizhe shake hands after signing an MoU yesterday. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Kuwait and China signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday on forming a mechanism for the development of Silk City and five Kuwaiti islands. The signing ceremony was held at the National Development and Reform Commission’s headquarters in Beijing, Kuwait’s Ambassador to China Samih Hayat told KUNA. Head of the apparatus for developing the planned Silk City and Boubyan Island Faisal Al-Medlej signed the deal from the Kuwaiti side, while NDRC’s Vice Chairman Ning Jizhe signed for the Chinese side, added Hayat.

Prior to the signing, the two sides stressed the importance of boosting their economies through China’s 2013 “Belt and Road” initiative and revival of the historic Silk Road, he said. Kuwait’s participation in the Silk Road project reflects HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s strategic “New Kuwait 2030” vision, which aims to transform the country into a financial, commercial and cultural hub at regional and international levels, Hayat said.

Reviving the Silk Road project will restore Kuwait’s commercial and economic role in the region, especially since the country enjoys a distinctive geographic location, and also contribute to the prosperity of the global economy, added the Kuwaiti diplomat. There is mutual and substantial consensus between the “New Kuwait 2030” vision and the “Belt and Road” initiative to revive the Silk Road and establish commercial, vital and safe zones to serve countries across the land and sea routes, he said.

Senior Chinese officials offered their full, practical and transparent cooperation on ways to benefit from the economic advantages of Silk City and the five Kuwaiti islands, Hayat noted, adding the two countries’ leaderships have always expressed their keen interest to match their initiatives and make Kuwait a major commercial center and a base for a network of railways which starts from China and passes through Central Asia and Gulf states. The Kuwaiti envoy indicated the next few days will see continued communication and mutual high-level visits by Kuwaiti and Chinese officials to implement what had been agreed upon between HH the Amir and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Amir’s recent visit to China. – KUNA