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Italian PM: Kuwait to invest €500m in Italy – Letta hails 'statement of confidence' during visit

February 5, 2014

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta (left) walks with Kuwait's Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah KUWAIT : Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund, the Kuwait Investment Authority , will invest 500 million in the Italian Strategic Fund (FSI), Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta told reporters in Kuwait yesterday. The Italian premier said that the investments will go into Italian companies, mostly in the industrial sector and will help to "capitalize, re-launch and help Italian enterprises". The two countries will create a jointly owned company, with Italy providing 80 percent of the 2.5 billion capital and Kuwait funding the remainder. Although the deal will be finalized in March, Letta said yesterday it would come into effect immediately. "This is a statement of confidence in Italy ," he told reporters. The Kuwait Investment Authority is among the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, with more than $400 billion in estimated assets. Speaking during a press conference at Bayan Palace following a meeting with HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah , the Italian premier said that Italy seeks to help promote stability in the region through a multilateral approach and noted he had had a very "fruitful, positive and concrete" discussion with the Kuwaiti leadership. The premier said that Italy will soon mark 50 years of diplomatic ties with Kuwait . There are several Italian firms doing business in Kuwait including Saipem , ABB Italy, Maire Tecnimont , Rizzani de Eccher, Italcementi Group , Bonatti and Fisia Italimpianti. Letta also discussed with Kuwait's leadership regional concerns including the instability and conflict in Syria , Egypt , Libya and Tunisia . "We hope to see good and positive steps for the internal dialogue in Egypt and we are optimistic," the premier said. Letta also said that Rome was concerned about the instability in Iraq and the growing Syrian refugee problem in the region. With regards to Iran , Letta said that Italy follows a multilateral approach and works to encourage Tehran to abide by all UN resolutions and the P5+1 agreements. Speaking on the sidelines of the press conference, Kuwait's Ambassador to Italy Sheikh Ali Khalid Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said that Italy would adopt a plan in June to lift Schengen visa requirements for Kuwaitis that may allow visas on arrival. By Jamie Etheridge All rights reserved.

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Source: Kuwait Times

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