Crown Prince sponsors celebration marking 70th ‘versary of Kuwait Investment Office in London

LONDON: Under the patronage and presence of HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, an event was held on Tuesday to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Kuwait Investment Office in London, at Lancaster House in the British capital. HH the Crown Prince arrived at the venue and was warmly welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Oil and Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Investment Dr Saad Hamad Al-Barrak, Managing Director of Kuwait Investment Authority Ghanem Al-Ghunaiman and Director-General of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority Sheikh Dr Mishal Al-Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, as well as members of the board of the Kuwait Investment Authority. A presentation on the history of Kuwaiti investments was given to HH the Crown Prince, showcasing historical photos on this occasion by Kuwait Investment Authority.

HH the Crown Prince then proceeded to meet with British officials participating in the celebration, including Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, Minister of Investment Lord Dominic Johnson, British Ambassador to Kuwait Belinda Lewis, Mayor of the Financial District of London Alderman Nicholas Lyons, Chief Advisor to the Minister of Defense for Middle East and North Africa Affairs Air Marshal Martin Sampson and Director of the Middle East Department at the British Ministry of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Stephen Hickey, as well as the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Kuwait Baroness Patricia Morris.

HH the Crown Prince then entered the main hall to inaugurate the event, where Ghunaiman delivered a speech as follows: “Your Highness, Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may God protect you, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great honor for us to celebrate today, under the auspices of Your Highness, this significant historical event, marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Kuwait Investment Office in London. On behalf of the members of the board of Kuwait Investment Authority and all its staff, we extend our heartfelt thanks and deep gratitude to Your Highness for your participation in this important celebration, wishing you the best of health and well-being.

LONDON: HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah attends an event to celebrate the 70th anniversay of the establishment of the Kuwait Investment Office in London at Lanoaster House on Aug 29, 2023.

“With great pride and appreciation for the remarkable achievements in the field of investment, we gather here today to commemorate the 70 years of the Kuwait Investment Office’s presence in the British capital, London, which played a prominent role in solidifying the partnership between the State of Kuwait and the United Kingdom.

Your Highness, esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen, since the establishment of the Kuwait Investment Office in 1953 until today, the United Kingdom has been the second most important home for Kuwaiti investments. These investments have witnessed exponential growth over the decades, as the United Kingdom has become a vital and principal global financial center. It possesses a robust legal and legislative environment, political stability, and an investment-friendly atmosphere, which has led the Kuwait Investment Authority to increase the value of its investments, making the Kuwait Investment Office in London the flagship foreign investment arm of Kuwait.

“Recognizing the strategic importance of the British capital, Kuwait Investment Authority played a pivotal role in 2009 in founding the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, which brings together more than 45 sovereign wealth funds from around the world and has its headquarters in London.

“Economically, the United Kingdom offers a diverse economy, providing numerous attractive investment opportunities in vital sectors such as healthcare, energy projects, infrastructure, and various industrial sectors. Acknowledging this, Kuwait Investment Authority has established subsidiary companies, including St Martins Property and Wren House, specializing in infrastructure investment, allowing the authority to hold numerous direct and indirect investments and become one of the largest foreign property owners in the British market.

HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal signs the guest book.

“Building on this, Kuwait Investment Authority is currently working in coordination with relevant authorities in the United Kingdom to establish a long-term investment partnership aimed at strengthening the deep relationship between the two friendly nations.

“Your Highness, esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen, the global economy has, in recent years, been increasingly concerned with environmental issues and climate change. Kuwait has been at the forefront of nations recognizing the early dangers of climate change. His Highness Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Crown Prince, may God protect him, has declared Kuwait’s commitment to carbon neutrality in the oil and gas sectors by 2050.

“In a related context, the United Kingdom has played a crucial role in mitigating climate change risks. This was evident when His Royal Highness King Charles III announced the launch of the Sustainable Markets Initiative in January 2020. This initiative focuses on responsible investing that takes into consideration environmental aspects and climate change. Kuwait Investment Authority was one of only two sovereign funds to have the honor of signing the declaration establishing this initiative and committing to it.

“Furthermore, the authority, along with a group of other sovereign funds, contributed to the establishment and launch of the One Planet Initiative to lay the foundations for environmentally friendly investments. We continually strive and exert all possible efforts to ensure that all our investments align with future environmental and climate conditions.

“Despite the world’s challenges and geopolitical changes around us, we remain confident in the continued development of our strong historical ties. These ties are fundamentally built on shared values and mutual interests. In conclusion, I cannot emphasize enough my gratitude for the great honor we have in your presence at this important historic event. I extend my thanks to all the distinguished guests, wishing everyone good health and well-being.”

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt outlined the facts about Kuwaiti investments in the United Kingdom, reflecting the depth of the exceptional friendship between Kuwait and the United Kingdom, a relationship that extends back in history. He emphasized the United Kingdom’s pride in its investment partnership with Kuwait.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil, Minister of State for Economic Affairs, and Acting Minister of Finance Dr Saad Al-Barrak also delivered a speech, as follows: “Your Highness Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may Allah protect you. Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His blessings.

“It is a source of joy and pride for me to welcome His Highness Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Crown Prince, may Allah protect him, to attend this significant event. It represents a prominent milestone in the history of the strong relations between the State of Kuwait and the United Kingdom, as we come together to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Kuwait Investment Office in London. I am also pleased to welcome many of our devoted partners and friends at this historic juncture in our relations.

“Thanks to the wisdom of our early leaders, an agreement was signed by the late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, may Allah have mercy on him, and the British Political Resident, under which the Kuwait Investment Board was established in the British capital on February 23, 1953. This office was the initial nucleus that led to the current Kuwait Investment Office in London.

“The aim behind establishing the Kuwait Investment Office was to achieve long-term investment returns to serve as an alternative source of income to oil revenues, enhancing the ability of future generations to confront future challenges with confidence. This foresight played a significant role in enabling the Kuwait Investment Authority, the world’s oldest sovereign fund, to become one of the largest sovereign funds internationally today.

“Earlier today, I had the honor of signing a new memorandum of understanding that reaffirms our sincere intentions to enhance our strong strategic partnership with Great Britain. We hope this will attract more investments in the years to come. Your Highness Crown Prince, esteemed ministers, ladies and gentlemen, it all began with a few hundred thousand pounds deposited in the Bank of England in the 1950s. With prudent management by the Kuwait Investment Authority, which was established later, these small investments grew significantly over time. By the time we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Kuwait Investment Office in London in 2003, the Kuwait Investment Authority’s investments were approximately 9 billion US dollars. By the 60th anniversary in 2013, these investments had grown to about 24 billion US dollars.”

 

 

“Today, on the 70th anniversary of the opening of the Kuwait Investment Office in London, I am pleased to announce that we have once again managed to double our investments in the United Kingdom to approximately $42 billion, quadrupling in just two decades. The Kuwait Investment Authority has made London the headquarters for its international investment operations. The assets managed by the Kuwait Investment Office in London have grown from around $27 billion in 2003 to $120 billion in 2013, and as of this year, 2023, they have reached $250 billion. This represents an increase of over four times in the past two decades.

“Kuwait has always been a trusted strategic partner for most global investors. At a time when the British economy faced some challenges due to its voluntary exit from the European Union in 2020, the Kuwait Investment Authority saw it as an opportunity to increase its investments. This reflects Kuwait’s continuous desire to strengthen its strategic partnership with this large and diverse economy.

“I would also like to acknowledge the prominent role played by the United Kingdom and its allies in liberating Kuwait from the occupation in 1990. They also contributed to the reconstruction efforts after liberation in February 1991. The relationship between Kuwait and the United Kingdom extends beyond investments to many other vital sectors such as education, defense, and healthcare, alongside continuous communication and coordination between our governments regarding international developments. Furthermore, London has always been and continues to be the top tourist destination for Kuwaiti citizens.

“In light of this exceptional event and the history of our strong bilateral relations, I invite the British government and the British private sector to explore promising investment opportunities in the Kuwaiti economy. Detailed information can be obtained through the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA). Kuwait, rich in natural resources, is also rich in ambitious human capital, with many of its entrepreneurs receiving their education in British universities and establishing successful companies and businesses in the United Kingdom. We hope this will further strengthen the bonds of cooperation and integration between our countries.

“Your Highness Crown Prince, esteemed ministers, ladies and gentlemen, in conclusion, we thank you for attending this celebration, which aims to strengthen the exceptional bilateral relations between our nations and reaffirm the bonds of friendship that have endured through numerous tests and geopolitical storms. These bonds are built on solid values and shared steadfast goals, which we hope will thrive and grow over many coming decades. Peace be upon you, and may Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you.”

British Secretary of State for International Trade and Investment Lord Dominic Johnson delivered a speech in which he praised the strength and resilience of the relations between Kuwait and the United Kingdom in the fields of trade and economics, extending for over 70 years. HH the Crown Prince then signed the guest book and a commemorative photo was taken with the members of the Kuwait Investment Office on this occasion. His Highness then departed, accompanied by the official delegation. – KUNA

The post Crown Prince sponsors celebration marking 70th ‘versary of Kuwait Investment Office in London appeared first on Kuwait Times.

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