Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund has more than $300bn of investments in the United States, including stocks, bonds, real estate and technology, officials announced on Monday.
In a statement carried by state news agency KUNA to coincide with Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s official visit to Washington, the country said Kuwait Investment Authority’s (KIA) assets included an investment in New York real estate project Hudson Yards.
Other investments come through petrochemical joint venture Equate’s MEGlobal subsidiary, which is building a new mono-ethylene glycol plant in Houston, Texas, and other undisclosed holdings in technology start-ups and enterprises.
The $300bn sum represents more than half of KIA’s $591bn of assets under management estimated by Sovereign Wealth Center.
Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $6bn last year, with 95 per cent of Kuwait’s exports to the US comprising petroleum-based products and 40 per cent of US exports in the transportation sector.
Kuwait also spent $2bn on tourism, education and medical care in the US in 2016, with 15,566 Kuwaitis studying in the country last year and 87,000 entering for tourism and business.
The Gulf country is particularly keen to attract more US healthcare technology firms as part of a goal of becoming a leader in medical care and outpatient services, according to the statement.
The Kuwaiti ruler’s visit coincides with a second round of strategic talks that will take place in Washington on Friday to expand bilateral ties.
The US Chamber of Commerce will also host a commercial forum for Kuwaiti investors, US companies and government officials on Wednesday, September 6, ahead of a meeting between the emir and US President Donald Trump on Thursday.
The two are expected to discuss efforts to resolve the current Gulf spat between Qatar and its fellow GCC members Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, cooperation in regional security, the war on terror, bilateral ties and the Middle East peace process.
The visit is the Kuwaiti ruler’s fourth to the US having previously been hosted by former presidents George Bush and Barack Obama.
By Robert Anderson
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