Smith In Mid East On Fact Finding Mission

03 November 2009
SNP Member of the European Parliament and Member of the Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the Arabian Peninsula Mr Alyn Smith is in Kuwait for a series of meetings to build ties and make contacts with the Kuwaiti government and business.

He will meet key figures from Kuwaiti politics in the National Assembly, tour the oil fields and industry, discuss OPEC and meet with the Managing Director of the Kuwait Investment Fund.

Smith, who himself grew up in neighbouring Saudi Arabia and maintains a close interest in the region, said:

"I'm hugely looking forward to getting back to the Middle East, and very grateful for the help we have had in arranging such an impressive programme.

"The fact that Kuwait, with a population smaller than greater Glasgow, has been able to run its oil wealth so prudently is an example of what we should be doing in Scotland. The Kuwait Investment Fund receives 10% of revenues each year to put into a sovereign Wealth Fund for the benefit of future generations of Kuwaitis, and like Norway they can look forward to a substantial national nest egg once the petrodollars dry up. We in Scotland have as much oil under our seas as we have already extracted, so we need to get on with properly safeguarding our national wealth.

"There is no doubt that there is a great deal of interest worldwide in what is happening in Scotland, and that is not just a European or Anglophone phenomenon. We have a world class image and I am keen to build links with our friends worldwide, especially when we have so much in common and so much common interest."

Highlights of Mr Smith's programme are:

Managing Director of the Kuwait Investment Authority

BBF Meeting

Tour of Kuwait Oil Company and Oil Lakes

Meetings with Members of the National Assembly to discuss relations with Europe and Economic Development