October 15, 2012 by Atif Siddiqui
KUWAIT: Asian countries highly praised His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s call to host the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit, a meeting that is expected to further boost inter-Asian economic cooperation and integration. Sheikh Sabah invited Asian countries to meet at summit level, during the 10th ACD Forum that was held in Kuwait in October 2011.
Participants in the ACD Forum appreciated and welcomed Sheikh Sabah Al-Sabah’s invitation to host ACD Summit. The call to host the summit reflects His Highness the Amir’s keenness on economic development and that the Asian continent play a major factor to transforming Kuwait into a regional financial and commercial hub, considering its key geographic location coupled with its rich financial and human resources. Kuwait, out of His Highness the Amir’s keenness to making Kuwait this regional hub, has also expressed desire to host the structural mechanism headquarters of the ACD once approved by ACD countries.
This, however, was not the first initiative by His Highness the Amir at the regional and continental level. Kuwait hosted the first Arab Economic Summit that was held in Kuwait in January 2009. During the Summit, Sheikh Sabah initiated a USD-two-billion fund to support small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). The Amir of Kuwait, since assuming office as head of state, embarked on a number of regional and international tours aimed at cementing economic relations with major industrial countries and organizations, whether in Europe, Asia or the Americas. Asia occupies a large segment in Kuwait’s foreign policy with 40 percent of its diplomatic missions are in Asian countries.
The ACD Summit is yet another attempt by Kuwait to cement economic, trade, cultural and political relations between the Asian countries to ultimately achieve peace, security, stability, development, reduction of poverty, addressing environmental deterioration, climate change and food security, in addition to respect of human rights. More than 32 Asian countries and a number of international organizations are taking part in the ACD Summit. The ACD has been meeting at a ministerial level since June 2001, when Thailand called for holding an ACD Forum to foster inter-Asian collaboration.
The ACD Summit is a turning point in the march of the Dialogue with Kuwait wishing the high-level meeting will give a new impetus into ACD countries. A host of Arab and Asian journalists praised yesterday preparations by the Kuwaiti Information Ministry and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) organizing committee, which contributed in providing a better coverage for the major event. The preparations gave foreign correspondents the liberty to cover the event in a professional manner, senior correspondent of the Japanese national news agency (Kyodo) Nobuhisa Degawa told KUNA.
The gathering is getting the attention of Japanese media outlets, especially news about mutual cooperation and deliberations among Member States, Degawa noted. On her part, Pham Hang, correspondent of the Vietnamese News Agency, said that the ACD media center is fullyequipped, underlining “honestly, the level of organization is superb.” Vietnamese media is anticipating the opening of the Summit, slated for tomorrow, as its outcomes and recommendations are of significance to Vietnam; an ambitious and development- driven Asian country, Hang added. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Omani Journalists’ Society Awadh Bin Saeed termed ACD a “major and excellent step” and an “important initiative” that adhere to changes currently being witnessed in Asia.
He pointed out that major economic powers in Asia, like China, Japan and South Korea, in addition to the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States, are contributing in the establishment of an important partnership in the Asian Continent. “These human resources must be invested in a bid to establish an Asian entity,” he noted. Mustafa Al-Dabbas, editor-in-chief of the US-based Arabic language newspaper of Al-Raya, told KUNA that Asia needs this kind of initiatives in order for peace to prevail in the region, hoping for more cooperation that would solidify the Continent’s economic and political statuses. Last night, Kuwait Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al- Abdullah Al-Sabah inaugurated the media center in Ar-Raya Hall. — KUNA