US signing FTA with Kuwait only a matter of time: Gutierrez

Arab Times | 7 February 2008

US signing FTA with Kuwait only a matter of time: Gutierrez

WASHINGTON (KUNA): US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez said on Wednesday that signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Kuwait is only a matter of time. ’We have a long-standing relation with Kuwait, it is the second highest per capita income in the region’, said Gutierrez in a briefing at the foreign press center here in Washington. ’We are just waiting for the right conditions in place to sign a free trade agreement with Kuwait, it comes down to matter of time when both parties are ready to do so’, he added.
In 2005, US and Kuwait signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). Gutierrez described Kuwait as ’a business partner’ anticipating that economic relations between the two countries would ’strengthen and build’ in the future. Gutierrez is travelling to Jordan next February 10-11 where he will deliver keynote remarks at the US Middle East and North Africa Trade and Investment Conference in the Dead Sea. Gutierrez said he will stress in his remarks on ’the importance of continued economic reform and expanding our economic ties and mutual commercial relationship’.

He will also meet with economic and trade counterparts in the region attending the conference.

Gutierrez said that the international sanctions on Iran ’could be classified as a hindrance’ to the region’s prosperity. He noted that the number of FTAs agreement with countries in the region signed by President George W. Bush exceeds the total number of all former US administrations. Gutierrez said that a possible FTA agreement with Egypt is ’an opportunity for both countries’ and noted that it is early to have an FTA agreement with Libya in spite of ongoing talks with Tripoli on that matter.

’We hope the Middle East have its rightful place in the world’, he concluded.

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source: Arab Times