By Max Clarke

The UK and Kuwaiti Governments today agreed to double bilateral trade and investment from £2 billion to £4 billion by 2015.

With £1.1 Billion in goods and services exported annually, totalling £1.95 billion bilateral, Kuwait is already th UK's fourth largest trading partner in the Gulf.

The new trade agreement positions the UK as Kuwait’s partner of choice for delivering much of its four year £80-90 billion development plan. Among the projects in the colossal development plan are a £4.6 billion metro system and a new airport terminal to be designed by Lord Foster and partners.

Under the new trade Memorandum of Understanding, the Governments have established a new Kuwait-UK Trade & Investment Task Force. Chaired by Ministers, this important forum will play a key role in helping to achieve the new trade targets.

Speaking in Kuwait City today with a delegation of UK business leaders, the Prime Minister said:

“This is an important agreement that will pave the way for increased trade and investment between our two countries.

“Kuwait has an ambitious £90 billion development plan which involves more than 1,000 projects covering infrastructure, healthcare, housing and education. I want UK companies to be key partners on these projects that will bring jobs and growth to the British economy.”

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said British businesses across the country will be the key to boosting trade and achieving these new targets.

He said:

“The new UK-Kuwait Trade and Investment Taskforce will create an important forum for both sides to identify new opportunities for partnership across a range of sectors and improve the business environment by tackling market access issues.

“UK Trade & Investment can help any British company interested in doing business in Kuwait and the wider Gulf States.”

The first meeting of the new Taskforce will take place in June, alongside a major conference for UK companies on business opportunities in Kuwait.