Cablegate: Kuwait to Sign Tifa

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 285162
B. KUWAIT 4842

1. Action request at para 4.

2. In a diplomatic note dated 27 October, the GOK informed
Embassy that it intends to sign a Trade and Investment
Framework Agreement with USG, requested the nomination of a
USG official authorized to sign on behalf of the United
States and asked for a proposed date for the signing. Copy
of dip note and unofficial translation will be scanned and
emailed to NEA/ARP. In Ambassador's meetings with Minister
of Finance on 6 November and Minster of Commerce on 8
November, the ministers confirmed (Ref D request) that Kuwait
is prepared to sign the TIFA as presented (Ref A), without
further negotiation or modification. GOK will prepare a
first-cut Arabic translation of the TIFA as requested Ref D
as well.

3. From mid-September, Embassy has promoted the Ref C copy
of a model TIFA with appropriate officials in the Ministries
of Finance, Commerce and Industry, and Foreign Affairs. The
Secretariat of the High Committee for Development and

Economic Reform, Central Bank and the Kuwait Chambers of
Commerce and Industry were lobbied as well. Reception across
the board has been positive and forward-leaning. Our Kuwaiti
counterparts are ready to move forward on the broad range of
issues that successfully must be addressed in preparation for
a possible FTA. As evidence of this, the Council of
Ministers recently approved a regulatory change that will
allow foreign investors to establish wholly owned enterprises
in Kuwait.

4. Action Request. Minister of Commerce will sign for the
GOK. He asks for dates in December available to USTR for a
Washington signing ceremony. GOK anticipates fielding a team
of finance and trade officials to visit Coalition capitals in
the run-up to a Kuwait venue "Reconstruct Iraq" exhibition
and conference scheduled for 19-23 January 2004. Commerce
Minister plans to head that delegation for its December visit
to Washington. The GOK would like to feature the TIFA
signing there as a public demonstration of Kuwait's
commitment to meaningful economic reform. They anticipate
across-the-board liberalization of law and administrative
procedures the better to assure broad Kuwaiti private sector
participation in the coming years' Iraq reconstruction
program. End action request.

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