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Kuwait signs three agreements with India

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KUWAIT EMIR Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah calling on the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, at Hyderabad House in the Capital on Thursday. — Ramesh Sharma

New Delhi , June 15

India and Kuwait on Thursday signed three agreements to boost ties after Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah held talks with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.

The countries inked three key agreements on avoidance of double taxation, co-operation in drugs and narcotics control and boosting cultural ties.

The Sheikh was accorded a ceremonial reception by the President, Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and Dr Singh earlier in the day.

The Sheikh is accompanied by the Minister of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Oil Minister.

Keen to expand ties

According to the Kuwaiti Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) First Vice-Chairman, Mr Hilal Meshari Al-Mutairi, Kuwait is interested in enhancing bilateral trade with India.

Speaking at a seminar in FICCI, Mr Mutairi, who is leading a high-powered delegation of Kuwaiti businessmen to India, said the bilateral trade between India and Kuwait had grown from $341 million in 1995 to $628 million in 2005 and there was further scope for growth.

The Essar Group Director (Oil and Gas), Mr S. Mathur, said the bilateral ties are being steadily expanded and can further be strengthened by continuous interactions and cooperation, including regular exchange of delegations. "FICCI and KCCI can provide more focused forums for concentrating on sectors including oil and gas, energy, construction (real estate, IT parks, SEZs), steel, fertilisers, food processing, tourism, training and education, healthcare for mutual benefit," he said.

During his visit, the Sheikh will also meet UPA Chairperson Ms Sonia Gandhi, the Defence Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, and Mr L.K. Advani.

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