Washington: Kuwait's Ambassador to the US Jasem Al-Budaiwi visited the state of Iowa for discussions on opportunities to boost the partnership horizon between the US and Kuwait.

During the visit, Ambassador Al-Budaiwi met with top local officials, including Secretary of State of Iowa Paul Pate, the Alternate Governor Adam Gregg and head of the Iowa Farm Bureau Brent Johnson, in addition to a number of food processing companies and a group of Gulf War veterans.

The aim of the visit is to engage with Midwest states that depend on agriculture, in light of Kuwait's efforts to deepen and diversify its sources of food security.

Ambassador Al-Budaiwi told KUNA that there is a "serious and genuine desire" in the State of Iowa to deepen relations with Kuwait, especially in food security sector, either by inviting Kuwaiti companies to invest in Iowa or encouraging American companies to be in Kuwait "as an entry point or regional hub for them in the Middle East market." He affirmed that the visit was "successful on every level and reflects the true strategic partnership between two countries."

He added that "there is so much possible potential that could come out from engaging Kuwait with the State of Iowa." A round table discussion was held during the visit on the "Kuwait-US Partnership: Opportunities for the State of Iowa," during which Ambassador Al-Budaiwi shed light on the "many investment opportunities for companies in Iowa, to take advantage of in Kuwait.

"I believe one of these opportunities lies in the sector of Agriculture and food processing, especially with the ever-growing importance of the issue of Food Security," he said in remarks at the event.

He added that Kuwait "can serve as an access point for these products from Iowa, not just to Kuwait, but to the whole MENA (Middle East North Africa) region." He continued that this visit is an opportunity "to explore the possibilities of attracting investments from Kuwait, in Iowa agriculture, while also searching for opportunities for Iowa based agricultural companies to invest in Kuwait."

He affirmed that Kuwait remains a "popular destination for international investors for many reasons," such as its political stability, its prominent and strong financial institutions that are built on great foundations and its commitment and transparency while engaging in financial and trade transactions." For his part, Secretary Pate said that Iowa has a "strong history of partnering with other nations and forging mutually beneficial alliances, including in Kuwait." He pointed out to Iowa's export market, saying that in 2021, Iowa exported nearly USD 16 billion of made-in-America goods to the world.

"Iowa has long been the heart of America's food production and continues to grow its role as a producer for the world," he added. "Whether it's manufacturing or agriculture, the State of Iowa is an important international partner for trading." Furthermore, he mentioned that over 3,000 Iowans were part of the US-led Coalition of the Gulf War, saying "throughout our long history as a state, Iowans have always stepped up to help our neighbors, whether they are next door or on the other side of the world."