Saudi influence hampering Iran’s exports to Kuwait: Businessman

Press TV – Iran’s exports to Kuwait continue to suffer from Saudi Arabia’s incessant pressures on the small Persian Gulf country, a senior Iranian businessman says while insisting that Tehran should move to counter the negative influence amid a pandemic that could further affect the trade in the region.  

Hadi Feisali, who chairs Iran-Kuwait Joint Chamber of Commerce, said on Thursday that Iran’s total exports to Kuwait had stood at $186 million in the year ending March 2020, down from $400 million recorded in the previous calendar year.

Feisali said Saudi pressures on Kuwait to reduce its trade ties with Iran have become more evident since February when the spread of the new coronavirus pandemic caused a significant decline in exchanges across the borders.

“… there are elements in the Kuwaiti government that won’t allow our exchanges to be easily processed,” he said, adding, “Kuwait is more or less following the policies of its big brother Saudi Arabia.”

The businessman said the Iranian government could become more actively involved in efforts to counter Saudi Arabia’s role in Kuwait’s dealings with other countries.

He said Iranian businesses and merchants should enjoy more government support while dealing with customers in Kuwait, a country that is only second to Saudi Arabia in the region in terms of the volume of imports.

Feisali said Iran’s exports to Kuwait had dropped by 36-40 percent between late March and late June mainly due to restrictions imposed in the Arab country on Iranians and their cargoes.

He said Kuwait has refused to lift a ban on Iranian wooden boats that was imposed after the start of the pandemic while it rejects to process export applications by certain groups of Iranian businesses.