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Viet Nam and Kuwait: 45 years of diplomatic relations

January 11, 2021 | 09:53

Not long after the unification of the North and South of Viet Nam, on 10, January, 1976, Vietnam and Kuwait established diplomatic relations, creating an important milestone in the history of Viet Nam’s foreign relations with the world.

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H.E. Ngo Toan Thang

Ambassador-Designate of Viet Nam in Kuwait

5133 vietnam ambassador to kuwait
Vietnamese Ambassador to Kuwait Ngo Toan Thang

Let us move forward together

As the first country in the Gulf to establish diplomatic relations with Viet Nam, Kuwait has made a great contribution to the relationship between Viet Nam and the Gulf countries in particular and with other countries in the Middle East in general.

Throughout the historical relationship between the two countries, Viet Nam and Kuwait have witnessed many memorable milestones. Immediately after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, in February 1976, special envoy of the Vietnamese Government, H.E. Nguyen Co Thach, then Deputy Foreign Minister, paid an official visit to Kuwait, and he was well received with hospitality and respect. In June 1993, Viet Nam’s Trade Representative Office in Kuwait was established, which is the first commercial representative office of Viet Nam in the Gulf region. Ten years later, the cooperation between the two countries was strengthened, with Viet Nam officially opening the embassy in Kuwait in 2003. And it should be noted that many exchange visits of leaders at all levels between the two states has been made so far testifying to the friendship and strong relationship between Viet Nam and Kuwait.

Since then, the efforts of leaders and people of the two countries have been demonstrated in many activities that have contributed to boost the relationship between Viet Nam and Kuwait. The outstanding progress in the Viet Nam – Kuwait relations is the achievement in the trading and economic sector, reflected by the obvious figure of US$3.6 billion in two-way trade turnover achieved in 2019. Moreover, a number of mechanisms of cooperation and agreements in other fields such as sports, culture, arts, … have been signed.

To achieve such great achievements, many factors are needed and one of them is the trust — a natural but sustainable element that helps promote the development of Viet Nam – Kuwait relations and overcomes every challenge facing the two countries.

Viet Nam and Kuwait: 45 years of diplomatic relations
Kuwait Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah visited Vietnam in May 2016.

Since the official visit to Kuwait by the Former President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, H.E. Le Duc Anh in May 1995, the two sides have benefited from each other’s strengths to create effective, sustainable and effective cooperation that brings along many mutual interests. Economic cooperation, a prominent highlight in Viet Nam – Kuwait relations over the years has been continuously strengthened. Viet Nam – a southeast asian country with an extremely abundant young labor workforce has contributed to the production of many valuable products for export to Kuwait and the Gulf region such as ceramic, electronic and agricultural products. Meanwhile, Kuwait has taken advantage of its strengths in the crude oil field to contribute to the construction of Nghi Son oil refinery with a total investment of US$9 billion in Vietnam (tripartite project including Kuwait, Japan and Viet Nam). In recent years, although the world economy is slowing down, the investment commitments and trade exchanges between the two sides are still being made and increased, thus keeping the momentum of development of both Viet Nam and Kuwait. This is thanks to the flexibility and long-term commitment of investment funds from Kuwait, including the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and the Kuwait Investment Authority, to support Vietnam undertake a number of important infrastructure projects as well as disaster recovery.

Economic and trade cooperation also brings opportunities for cultural exchanges and mutual understandings between the two countries in other fields. In February 2016, on the 40th anniversary of relations between the two countries, Kuwait officially recognized Viet Nam’s market economy, contributing to enhancing political trust between the two sides. In the field of education and training, Viet Nam has launched Arabic language courses to provide qualified staff in many fields, in accordance with the requirements of not only Kuwait but also many countries in the Middle East. Viet Nam appreciates the annual Arabic scholarships granted by the Kuwaiti Government.

With achievements of the past 45 years, we can proudly affirm that the two countries Vietnam and Kuwait have developed together and moved forward with the belief of a good future so as to continually promote the friendly relationship between the two countries, thus helping the Vietnamese and Kuwaiti people to understand each other better and further enhance the long-standing traditional and friendly cooperation between the two countries.

In the year 2021, there will be many activities and events taking place to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. These activities are expected to help Viet Nam and Kuwait tourism sector recover after a long period of serious impacts caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. Then, new opportunities for cooperation in other fields will blossom again, ensuring the stable development of a good relationship between Viet Nam and Kuwait in particular and between Viet Nam and the Gulf countries in general.

The 45-year long journey of the relationship between Viet Nam and Kuwait originated from the belief of a future of peace, friendship, cooperation and development. That belief will also be a solid base for Viet Nam and Kuwait to move forward, helping to build the bridge of friendship and solidarity between the Gulf countries and the Southeast Asian countries in the interest of peace, stability and prosperity around the world.

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