The state sovereign fund, Kuwait Investment Authority will invest EUR 500 million in Italian companies through its counterpart the Italian Strategic Fund, or Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI), the Italian premier said here on Tuesday."It's a really great announcement for me and for us, it's the most important event of this Gulf trip," said Enrico Letta during his visit to Kuwait, after an earlier stop in the United Arab Emirates.According to a joint press statement issued by both sides, the amount invested by Kuwait will go into an investment company of joint ownership by both sides - 80pct for FSI and 20pct for KIA.The deal is expected to be finalised by March 2014, "after completing major points regarding an assessment, conducted by experts from both sides" read the handout."The Kuwait Investment Authority regards the Italian Strategic Fund - and what it represents of promising investment opportunities - a suitable tool for investment in the growth of the Italian stock market.The Italian premier described the deal as "very important" for Italy, and a demonstration of the good cooperation between both countries."I would like to thank the Kuwaiti authorities and the KIA leadership (for reaching the deal)," he said."They decided to trust Italy and they were right to trust in Italy, because Italy is a trustable country and we will demonstrate that." Letta said that he had held meetings with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
These meetings had focused on a number of bilateral issues on the local and international spectrums.On the local scale, he said these talks focused on several issues, including energy with the Kuwaiti government and Italian companies planning cooperation "on oil and gas in Italy, in Kuwait and in third countries first of all." "Cultural issues on many fronts," due to be worked on by the two ambassadors of both countries, were also mentioned, but the prime minister did not further elaborate on this cooperation.
Both countries share a common moment in history, as Italy took part in freeing Kuwait from the 1990-91 invasion of Iraqi forces, said Letta, who expressed Italy's continued commitment to bilateral cooperation with Kuwait.As the two countries celebrate their Golden Jubilee of the establishment diplomatic relations, he said he was glad to be in Kuwait."Fifty years is a long time. We are long-time friends and this friendship was demonstrated by the discussions we had, this morning, which were very positive and very concrete." On regional affairs, particularly Syria, he said, both share "views about the risk of instability in the region and the need to work for a peaceful process after Geneva II for the Syrians." Both sides also hope for "good and positive steps for internal dialogue in Egypt," and share "worries about what's going on in Iraq, in this very period, " he added.They also discussed Libya and Tunisia, as the latter is due to celebrate the adoption of its new constitution at a ceremony where Italy will be present. As for Libya, he noted to "common worries" about "a very weak" institutional building process in the country."We need to push and to help them (Libya) build a state. This is the only way to have a good cooperation but also to bring stability," he stressed.