Kuwait hopes to attract more Japanese investment when it enacts a new investment law, Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah told Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on Monday.Sabah told Obuchi that Kuwait wants to expand relations with Japan in various areas, especially economics, Foreign Ministry officials said. Sabah said the new law is intended to attract foreign firms, adding there is room for more cooperation between Kuwait and Japan, according to the officials.Meanwhile, Abdulawahab Al Wazzan, chairman of the Japanese-Kuwaiti Businessmen Committee, told a press conference that the new law will permit wholly owned foreign firms to enter certain sectors. Wazzan said Kuwait hopes to establish joint ventures with Japanese firms in areas such as petrochemicals and agriculture.Obuchi, meanwhile, expressed hope that Kuwait will support the renewal of drilling rights by Arabian Oil Co., Japan’s largest oil producer with strong government backing, the ministry officials said.The exclusive drilling rights in an oil field off the former neutral zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia expire in 2003, the officials said. Sabah said he hopes the company will be able to continue operations in the field, the officials said.Last week, Obuchi called for a renewal of Arabian Oil’s concession rights in Saudi Arabia during his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Japan. Those rights expire in spring 2000.Obuchi told Sabah that bilateral ties are currently centered on oil trade but he hopes to expand them into other areas, the officials said.Sabah reiterated Kuwait’s appreciation of Tokyo’s support during the Gulf War, they said.
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