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19-06-2012 - Kuwait Times

Cabinet forms panel to probe dispute with Dow Chemical

Cabinet approved yesterday the line-up of an ad hoc committee, proposed by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, to probe the repercussions of recent International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce ruling against Kuwait in favor of US Dow Chemical.

It pointed out that the four-member committee, headed by Dr. Adnan Ahmad Shehabeddine, will investigate all aspects of the joint venture from the start to the end, especially the clause imposing the huge cost of the compensation on the country.

The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce has ordered Kuwait to pay $ 2.16 billion in compensation to US Dow Chemical over the breakdown of a planned joint venture between the two companies in 2008.

The committee will review the negotiations, deal signing stages, and the legal procedures taken during the arbitration to establish why Kuwait lost the case, the cabinet statement added. It will study legal and practical ways to deal with the ruling with the aim at minimizing losses and damages.

In December 2008, the Kuwaiti government scrapped a $ 17.4-billion deal between Kuwait's state-owned Petrochemicals Industries Co (PIC) and Dow to create a petrochemicals joint venture due to pressure from opposition MPs citing the global financial crisis. Under the deal, PIC was to pay $ 7.5 billion to form a petrochemicals firm known as K-Dow in which the two companies would have equal stakes.

Meanwhile, HH the Premier Minister voiced condolences to the Saudi royal family and people on the passing of their crown prince, deputy premier, and minister of interior Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

He added that the demise of Prince Nayef is a great loss for Saudi Arabia and Arab and Muslim nations. HH Sheikh Jaber recalled the role played by the late prince in retaining security and stability in the Gulf region and his resounding success in the fight against terrorism.

Earlier, the Cabinet reviewed the messages sent to HH the Amir by the leaders of Morocco, Liberia, Bulgaria and Comoros Islands as well as the messages received by HH the Premier from his Spanish counterpart.

The messages focused on bilateral relations and means to bolster cooperation in all domains. The Cabinet also mulled the latest developments in the Arab and international arenas.


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