Regional Webinar on ‘How to Franchise U.S. Brands, Investing in the U.S., and the Legal Aspects of Franchising.’

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait, the U.S. Commercial Service- Kuwait, and Al Tamimi & Company host a Regional Webinar on ‘How to Franchise U.S. Brands, Investing in the U.S., and the Legal Aspects of Franchising.’

 

April 13, 2021. ABCK-AmCham Kuwait in collaboration with the U.S. Commercial Service – Kuwait, and Al Tamimi & Company hosted a webinar on how to Franchise U.S. Brands, Investing in the U.S., and the Legal Aspects of Franchising. The virtual webinar was organized with the support of AmCham Dubai, and AmCham Oman.

 

 

The webinar started off with opening remarks by Mr. Frank Belonus, the Chairman of the Board of ABCK-AmCham Kuwait, as he welcomed the participants and introduced Mr. Joel Stewart- Founder of International Franchise Marketplace, Mr. Fady Ghanem- Partner, Corporate Structuring of Al Tamimi & Company, and Mrs. Shari Stout – Senior Commercial Officer of the U.S. Commercial Service in Kuwait.

Mr. Stewart opened the discussion by talking about how to Franchise a U.S. Brand. He mentioned the main 3 aspects that one must investigate prior to franchising: Identifying the reasons for wanting to franchise a U.S. brand, identifying the leverageable elements of a U.S. franchise, and engaging with the franchise that will meet ones’ objectives. He further elaborated on these 3 elements by speaking about the different franchise development models, whereas the single unit development is the basic core of the franchise system, the area development system which is where someone agrees to open a of series franchise units in a specific geographic area, and the master franchise agreement which is when someone becomes the franchise developer of a region, and they can sub-sell unit development agreements to others.

 

Another important element is the brand and the operations of the franchise. In which the brand represents a “substantial similar costumer experience, and this is the real power of a franchise, you could go to a location in another country and that experience should be substantially like the franchise that you opened right next to your house. The power of the brand is created through the brand operations, in which the brand has experimented and refined their operations to be efficient and to create a very pleasant costumer experience, this allows your franchise to be powerful”, Mr. Stewart noted. He informed the participants that if they were interested in finding available U.S. Franchises, they can reach out to franchise brokers, such as himself, or the U.S. Commercial Service.

The topic of the legal aspects of franchising was opened by Mr. Fady Ghanem, who spoke about the legal aspects to consider when opening a franchise. He also spoke about the different industries that are available for franchising, and he also urged those who are interested in expanding their business to ensure that their intellectual property is protected in any place in which they wish to expand the brand to. He also asked franchisees to investigate their trademarks to ensure that they are recognized locally and regionally, depending on the nature of the business and scope of the franchise.

 

Mr. Ghanem also spoke about franchise agreements, as he mentioned that no two franchise agreements will ever be the same, but that they should include the following: the term of the franchise, Trademark licensing and business operation along with the limitations on usage , Fees and mode of payment, Territory and scope, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and Manuals, Restrictions, Termination of the franchise agreement, Obligations for execution, termination, and post-termination, Non-compete agreements, Confidential information, Responsibilities and obligations of franchisor and franchisee.

 

Mr. Ghanem spoke about the main role of a franchisor, which involves securing protection for their intellectual property, licensing the use of their brand name, in which he mentioned that is incredibly important for franchisors to monitor the franchisee’s activities to ensure that they are following the SOPs and manuals, and their role is to conduct research and development to improves sales and customer adoption. He also finalized his talk by talking about the main roles of the franchisee, which involve paying royalties, complying with procedures, and complying with franchise targets.

To finalize, Mrs. Shari Stout spoke about the U.S. Commercial Service’s mission. Their mission in Kuwait is to promote the export of goods and services from the U.S., supporting U.S. companies to identify local partners, support Kuwaiti companies on finding U.S. suppliers, and aiding Kuwaiti companies interested in investing in the U.S., which is done through their customized services.

 

Mrs. Stout spoke about the benefits of investing in the U.S., including the fact that the U.S. has a vast population of 325 Million people, with a 20 trillion USD GDP. The U.S. also offers strong intellectual protection laws, as well as diversity and innovation with a well-trained workforce. The U.S. Commercial Service aids companies to invest in the U.S. through the SelectUSA Investment Summit, and this year’s program will be held virtually through June 7-11, 2021. The purpose of the program is to introduce international investors to the U.S. by introducing them to economic development organizations virtually, as well as having them participate in investor education sessions that will be hosted over the course of the 4-day period. To learn more about the Summit please contact the U.S. Commercial Service-Kuwait office.

 

To conclude the event, Mr. Belonus thanked participants and panellists for their input and questions and encouraged attendees to follow ABCK-AmCham Kuwait on social media for more upcoming events.

 

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait: Is a non-profit organization operating since 1985 and is composed of 500 corporations, small and medium sized companies, and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs, both American and Kuwaiti. ABCK-AmCham Kuwait has acted as an advocate for American interest in the state of Kuwait. For More Information, please visit our website at www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on social media channel @abck1985.

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ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosts a Women in Leadership Panel Discussion

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosts a Women in Leadership Panel Discussion

 

April 4. ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s Women in Business Focus Group hosted a virtual panel discussion on “Women in Leadership: Secrets to Success.” The panel discussion was led by Her Excellency Alina L. Romanowski, U.S. Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, Mrs. Eaman Al Roudhan- CEO of Zain Kuwait, Ms. Khadija Oubala- CEO of the Sultan Center Group, and Dr. Abeer Al Omar- Senior Executive Corporate Communications & Government Affairs at EQUATE Petrochemicals Company. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Arezou Harraf, Chair of the Women in Business Focus Group and CEO of Learn & Evolve.

 

Dr. Harraf started the discussion by emphasizing that “Women’s participation in the economy can increase employment rates, reduce poverty, and help in economic diversification.” Dr. Harraf added that ABCK’s Women in Business focus group aligns with Kuwait’s Vision 2035, which includes advocacy for women in the workplace. She announced that ABCK -AmCham Kuwait will become signatories to the Women Empowerment Principles of the United Nations Global Compact as part of the organization’s efforts to advance gender equality.

 

Her Excellency Alina L. Romanowski, U.S. Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, discussed ABCK-AmCham Kuwait and the U.S. Embassy’s efforts to strengthen both cultural and economic connections between the United States and Kuwait. She pointed out that ABCK-AmCham Kuwait is celebrating its 36th anniversary and congratulated the organization on their recent launch of Women in Business focus group.

Dr. Harraf opened the panel discussion by asking Ambassador Romanowski about the skills that she acquired during her time as an Ambassador and as a government official. H.E. Ambassador Romanowski responded that she has developed skills like public speaking and dealing with the media, and as an Ambassador, “you have to be articulate to policy issues and what we stand for even if you might disagree with others in the arena.”

 

Dr. Harraf asked Mrs. Al Roudhan -CEO of Zain Kuwait, about the most significant barriers in her career. Mrs. Al Roudhan replied, “The main difficulty most women face in big organizations is the fact that management (and the system) sometimes does not fully prepare and expect women to get the top executive posts.”

 

Mrs. Al Roudhan added that women do not get as much proper training as male colleagues. For example, men are usually tasked with more difficult or challenging tasks than their female counterparts. She noted that society expects women to be “nice and soft spoken,” but society also expects leaders to be assertive. She mentioned that in the beginning of her career she struggled to balance this, but with time she was able to learn from her experience about how to be a kind yet assertive leader.

 

Dr. Harraf asked Ms. Khadija Oubala – CEO of The Sultan Center Group, about her definition of success; Ms. Oubala replied that “Success is a moving target.” She noted that her definition has evolved since she was younger, and added “success is, being able to look at what I have achieved in my life at any given moment and feel fulfilled and satisfied with what I have accomplished. Not only professionally but also personally and socially. It is also to have no regrets but rather to know that you made the best of which you are capable.”

 

Dr. Abeer Al-Omar- Senior Executive Corporate Communications & Government Affairs at EQUATE Petrochemicals Company was asked about her inspiration for success. “Since starting my career, I’ve learnt to take inspiration from as many people as possible – one person is my mother who as pioneer of education in Kuwait, taught me to trust in myself and what I believe in. There is no easy route to climbing a career ladder, but there is every opportunity for you to do so if you are determined and motivated.”

The moderator asked Ambassador Romanowski about the skills she finds most important to live a successful life based on her definition of success. Ambassador Romanowski replied, “I think it is really important to know what is important to you, and what are your priorities.” Her Excellency said that balance is the key factor to success depending on what the person is focusing on, as everyone prioritizes different facets of their life. Based on that, people will find their own success.

 

The panel discussion came to an end as the panelists were asked for the advice that they would give to young women entering the business world and what skills would be the most important for women in leadership positions. Dr. Harraf opened the floor for questions for panelists about their leadership skills and experiences. The moderator ended the panel discussion by thanking the attendees for their participation and acknowledged ABCK-Am-Cham Kuwait’s mission of promoting women in business.

 

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait: A non-profit organization operating since 1985 composed of 500 corporations, small and medium sized companies, and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs, both American and Kuwaiti. ABCK-AmCham Kuwait has acted as an advocate for American interests in the State of Kuwait. For more information, please visit our website at www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on social media @abck1985.

Oil and Commodities Under the Spotlight in ABCK- AmCham Kuwait and Citigroup’s Webinar

FOR IMMEDITATE RELEASE

 

Oil and Commodities Under the Spotlight in ABCK- AmCham Kuwait and Citigroup’s Webinar

March 3, 2021.  ABCK- AmCham Kuwait in coordination with Citigroup held a fireside chat with Citi Group’s Global Head of Commodities Strategy Citi Research Dr. Edward Morse. The event was supported by the American Chambers of Commerce in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.

 

Mr. Fatah Adour, General Manager of Citibank Kuwait kick started the webinar by thanking the participants for their attendance and AmChams in GCC for their collaboration in this webinar then handed over to Mr. David walker, Head of Public Sector Banking for Citigroup in Europe, Middle East and Africa to moderate the discussions with Dr. Morse.

 

Dr. Morse thanked the chambers for their efforts in setting up the webinar and hoped that next year’s webinar would be in person. On the oil market, Dr. Morse noted that it has been on the rise by 75% since November 2020 and that there are several factors that led to a dramatic drop in global oil inventories like crude oil. These include the willingness of OPEC to withhold oil from the market for a longer period, which was aided by Saudi Arabia’s decision to take out one million barrels extra a day for the February and March months.

 

Dr. Morse explained that this also boosted demand that was unanticipated because of the pandemic becoming more in control. He continued: “The oil prices have gotten ahead of themselves in terms of rebalancing of demand and supply fundamentals; the sign we look at every single week is the ratio of people who are long in the financial market against people who are short in the financial market and that ratio now shows a bit of exhuberance”.

 

Dr. Morse noted that one must look at “money managers”, large-scale institutional investors which include pension funds and hedge funds. This group of investors is always investing “long” due to the pension funds and other institutional investors having a bias in investing in long only instruments.  “The ratio has gone above average which brought the oil prices up as well which is anticipated to stay as is for the year”.

 

Dr. Morse discussed commodities and their super-cycles as he emphasized the fact that all last year, out of 32 commodities like base metals, emissions, and fuel, 25 of them were down in price in the beginning of the year and 7 were up in price like gold and silver. He added: “Oil and gas were down last year, but 27 of the commodities are now up in 2021 and 5 are down”. Dr. Morse also warned that some people thought there will be a massive supply gap; he explained: “We had a dip in pricing, starting 2014 that lasted until 2016, the world in 2014 was spending a little less than 900 billion dollars a year in finding and developing oil”. Between 2014 and 2016, the spending fell by more than 50%. The International Energy Agency announced that unless there is an upturn in new investment, there will be 25 million barrel a day in supply by 2020 and even after 2014 the number never went above 500 billion dollars. As a result, the average cost of finding oil went down.

 

As for geopolitical concerns, Morse mentioned the 2016 agreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia while covering its political connotation. He said that both countries signed an agreement for bilateral cooperation in the oil market. From an oil perspective, 2016 was an existential moment for oil producing countries due to the fall to $30 a barrel for oil and its fluctuation throughout the year and that Saudi Arabia has a price currency that has been pegged to the U.S. Dollars.

 

He concluded the talk by addressing the change from oil to the energy transition. He mentioned that there are energy companies that want to reduce their carbon footprint without changing the nature of their business by altering their supply line so they are supported by cleaner energy and they believe they can survive as an energy firm producing hydro carbons. They do not believe it is worth their investing in alternative energy and to eradicate for oil and natural gas in their energy systems. He also noted that alternative energy like solar energy have seen their costs ne down by 15% per year for ten years making it competitive with coal.

 

The event concluded with closing remarks by the Chairman.

 

About Citi

 

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.  Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

 

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait: Is a non-profit organization operating since 1985 and is composed of 500 corporations, small and medium sized companies, and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs, both American and Kuwaiti. ABCK-AmCham Kuwait has acted as an advocate for American interest in the state of Kuwait. For More Information, please visit our website at www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on social media channel @abck1985.

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Hosts Intellectual Property Law Updates Virtual Event

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Hosts Intellectual Property Law Updates Virtual Event

 

February 15, 2021. ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosted a Briefing on Intellectual Property Law Updates in the Region on Monday, February 15. The event was organized by ABCK-AmCham Kuwait, U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; in collaboration with AmCham Dubai, AmCham Abu Dhabi, AmCham Qatar, AmCham Bahrain, AmCham Oman and AmCham Saudi Arabia.

 

The virtual event started off with opening remarks by the Regional Senior Commercial Officer, Mr. Thomas Bruns who identified intellectual property as a key part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s work. He also noted the regional trade transition from natural resources to diversified economy, which requires intellectual property regulations. He concluded his introduction by informing the participants of the work of U.S. Department trade in the GCC region like data privacy issues and virtual infrastructure roadshows in U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia.

 

Peter Mehravari who is the Regional Attaché for Intellectual Property explained his position as a resource who helps U.S. businesses protect their intellectual properties MENA region. He explained the process for obtaining IP rights in governments in the GCC region. Mehravari also discussed the developments of IP; Kuwait passed its first copyright law to protect businesses and creatives. With the help of the U.S. Embassy, the parliament of Kuwait passed a modernized copyright law in the summer of 2019. Mehravari also pointed out Kuwait’s recent effort in stopping counterfeits’ violations even without receiving complaints from businesses. Kuwait has improved their Intellectual Property enforcement actions against counterfeits.

 

Mehravari added that in U.A.E in September 2020, the country passed the decree 321 which protects IP for innovative pharmaceutical industry as it provides an 8-year data protection to prevent generics from using the clinical trial data. He noted, “This law symbolizes an intent by the Emirates to create the strongest place to protect intellectual property for pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the entire gulf region’’. In U.A.E, a new patent law is coming out soon that enforces new protections and damages and new trade secret regulations. He pointed out of the lowering of trademark fees 18 months ago, as U.A.E previously had the highest trademark fees in the world.

 

He also announced the recent changes to the Regional GCC Patent office which as of January the 6th 2021, stopped accepting regional patent applications. Mehravari advised U.S. companies to closely monitor the status of the regional patent system as new procedures will likely be introduced in the coming months.

 

Mehravari mentioned that one of the biggest Intellectual Property concerns for companies is trade secrets. Trade secrets are any commercial information that has value to a company that they take measures to remain secretive, but is not registered with a government, like one would for a patent or trademark. He noted that it can be more commonly categorized as a competitive advantage like data, the recruitment processes for a company, or any other secretive information. U.S. businesses’ trade secrets are not well protected in the GCC under existing legislative and judicial frameworks which results in information theft by other entities that offer cheaper price and quality for said trade secret. Mehravari suggested that companies should include more detailed trade secret clauses within their contracts than they would normally do in the U.S., including adding definition of what a trade secret is, listing the trade secrets within the contract and defining what is trade secret misappropriation. Mehravari also advised defining damages/penalties within the contract for said trade secret misappropriation.

 

The event was a success as it provided participants with informative updates about patent, trademark, copyright, and IP enforcement issues in the GCC. The event also provided all local chambers with a chance to connect and discuss the pace of IP development within every country. Both members and non-members were able to get informed on how to protect their intellectual property and get acquainted with local IP regulations updates.

 

Mehravari concluded his talk by giving suggestions regarding intellectual property and offered his assistance for U.S. businesses that are planning to expand to Kuwait and the GCC region. He thanked ABCK-AmCham Kuwait and all other AmCham entities in the region. The event was concluded by closing remarks by ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Chairman, Frank Belonus who thanked the speaker for the briefing and the participants for attending.

 

 

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait: Is a non-profit organization operating since 1985 and is composed of 500 corporations, small and medium sized companies, and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs, both American and Kuwaiti. ABCK-AmCham Kuwait has acted as an advocate for American interest in the state of Kuwait. For More Information, please visit our website at www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on social media channel @abck1985

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Virtual Speed Networking Event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosted its first virtual networking event of the year on Monday, January 18; sponsored by its Chairman’s Club member, Dar AlMizan Legal Consultants (DMLC) in collaboration with the raffle donors, Hilton Kuwait Resort, Crew Auto Support, Venture Foods Company, and Eye Boutique.

 

The event started off with opening remarks by ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman, Mr. Frank Belonus who welcomed the participants and wished them a fruitful event and commented on the success of the previous past virtual speed networking events. To Finalize the greeting, he notified participants that there will be guidelines and introduction provided by ABCK-AmCham Kuwait staff regarding the event.

 

Executive director of ABCK-Cham Kuwait, Mrs. Esra Cavdarli Menke provided a brief introduction of the mission and values of ABCK, which is supporting Kuwait in facilitating business connections to find creative effective solutions to the challenges Kuwait is facing in times of crisis, recovery and achieving the vision of Kuwait 2035. AmCham aims to support Kuwait to improve its global ranking, and to become an attractive trade hub for investments.

 

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s team provided the participants with guidelines and suggestions to consider in the virtual networking rooms. The AmCham Kuwait team recreated the efficacy of an in-person networking through online environment using zoom breakout rooms.

 

The event was a success as it provided participants with a fun and effective way to connect with other businesses and expand their knowledge on the current news and local business market. Both members and non-members were able to connect with businesses and get acquainted with local businesses. The purpose of virtual speed networking events is to provide short yet effective meetings while eliminating geographic constraints and travel. It also ensures that the participants can join from the comfort of their own place.

 

The networking event concluded with a raffle draw which consisted of several prizes from raffle donors. The first prize was a free legal consultation session from our Chairman’s Club Member and sponsor of the event, Dar AlMizan Legal Consultants presented by Mrs. Ola Saab, the Head of International Department at Dar AlMizan Legal Consultants.

 

The second raffle item was a special BBQ Dinner Buffet vouchers provided by our Corporate Member- Hilton Kuwait Resort, for the winner to enjoy a wonderful nighttime sea view. The third prize was provided by our Small Enterprise member- Crew, which provided vouchers for a Free Battery Change for Motor Craft Batteries. The fourth prize is from our Small Enterprise member- Venture Foods Company, which provided discount vouchers at China Garden restaurant. The final raffle prize vouchers were provided by Eye Boutique, to be used at their branches at Gate Mall and Al-Kout Mall.

ABCK Virtual Christmas Networking

December 22nd,2020. The American Business Council- AmCham Kuwait (ABCK-AmCham Kuwait) hosted its Christmas Virtual Networking Event on Monday, December 21st; sponsored by Gas & Oil Field Services Company (GOFSCO), in collaboration with the raffle donors: Del Monte Arabia, Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya, National Beverage Company, Hectare’s, and Harley Davidson.

 

The event started off with opening remarks by ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman, Mr. Frank Belonus, who welcomed the participants and spoke about the Christmas events in the past years, and the success that integrating virtual speed networking has brought to the membership, in terms of connecting them with people outside the AmCham network. To finalize his greeting, Mr. Belonus gave a special thank you to the sponsor of this evening, GOFSCO.

 

Executive Director of ABCK-AmCham Kuwait, Mrs. Esra Cavdarli Menke provided a brief regarding what ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s goal is, which is to support Kuwait in leveraging business and industry to find creative, effective solutions to the challenges Kuwait faces in this time of crisis, in its recovery, and in achieving its New Kuwait 2035 vision. AmCham Kuwait strives to support Kuwait’s ongoing efforts to improve its global competitiveness ranking, and support Kuwait’s goal of being a financial and trade hub that is commercially attractive for investment. She also spoke about the role of the Member corporations, which has allowed them to become a voice for American business interest in the State of Kuwait and encouraged participants to join the Chamber as Corporate Members. Mrs. Cavdarli Menke also thanked GOFSCO for being the sponsor of this event, and she thanked Del Monte Arabia, Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya, United Beverage Company (PepsiCo), Harley Davidson, and Hectare’s for being the raffle donors of the Christmas Virtual Networking Event.

 

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait team briefed participants with guidelines and suggestions to start the virtual networking rooms. The AmCham Kuwait team recreated the efficiency of an in-person networking, through the online environment by using Zoom Break-out rooms.

 

The event was a success as it provided participants with a fun and efficient way to meet other Members and business professionals. Members and non-Members were able to enjoy making new contacts and becoming acquainted with different industries. Virtual Networking is the newest way for people to connect with one another. It has been proven to be a successful way to go about speed networking, as the meetings are short, and they are done efficiently. The concept of virtual speed networking has brought together advantages of the face-to-face meetings, while eliminating the need to travel, geographical constrains, and it has allowed people to meet others at the comfort of their place of choice. Through ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s Christmas Virtual Networking Event, participants were able to share the holiday spirit, and build new connections. By participating, they were able to meet like-minded individuals, and connect with different businesses and industries.

 

The networking event concluded with a raffle draw which consisted of several prices. The first price were fruit baskets provided by Del Monte, which were presented by Mr. Akram Kamal- General Manager of Del Monte Kuwait. The second raffle item was a special invitation from Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya, for a one-night stay at the Deluxe Room with breakfast included at Elements, which was presented by Mrs. Yesim Insel- Hygiene Officer at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya. The third raffle items were assorted gift baskets from United Beverage Company (PepsiCo.), presented by Mr. Rashed Al Manee. The fourth raffle items were in-store vouchers at Harley Davidson, which were presented by Mr. Ahmed Al Sayer. The final raffle items were gift assortment baskets provided by Hectare’s for the winners.

 

ABCK- AmCham Kuwait is a non-profit organization comprised of American corporations, small and medium sized companies, and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs, both American and Kuwaiti. Since 1985, the American Business Council- AmCham Kuwait has acted as an advocate for American companies in the State of Kuwait. For more information about AmCham Kuwait, please visit our website at www.www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on social media channels @abck1985

 

Gas & Oil Field Services Company (GOFSCO) was founded in 1972 to meet the growing demand of upstream oil and gas companies operating in Kuwait and the wider region. GOFSCO is a regional industry pioneer since 1972, supporting the development of the petroleum production industry in the region. Today, we are one of the largest integrated service providers for the upstream oil and gas sector, both onshore and offshore. GOFSCO’s experienced management team combined with local and international knowledge and leading-edge technology, to provide a complete range of oilfield services to oil companies operating in the Gulf region. Health and safety are GOFSCO’s top priority – we work to the highest HSE standards and are committed to helping our customers create a safe working environment for their employees. We believe this is the foundation needed to provide quality services and achieve customer satisfaction. For more information, please visit http://gofsco.com/

Del Monte Fresh Arabia The Del Monte® name has been synonymous with premium foods since its debut in 1886.  For generations, our company has proudly earned our reputation with a series of innovations and a singular dedication to quality. Today that commitment to quality is deeply embedded in our culture. At Del Monte, we will always strive to cultivate the best wholesome vegetables, fruits, and tomatoes to help you and your family live a life full of vitality and enjoyment.

To learn more, go to: http://www.delmontearabia.com/products.aspx 

Four Seasons Kuwait at Burj Alshaya Discover our urban sanctuary, where modern Middle Eastern design sparks a genuine sense of wonder. Efficient for business and exciting for weekend getaways, Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait offers the city’s largest guest rooms, indoor and outdoor pools and two rooftop restaurants. Enjoy it all with intuitive Four Seasons service that comes straight from the heart. To learn more, visit their website at

https://www.fourseasons.com/kuwait/?seo=google_local_kuw1_apac

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Partners with Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait and Gulf Insurance Group to Distribute Toys to BACCH and KACCH

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Partners with Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait and Gulf Insurance Group to Distribute Toys to BACCH and KACCH

Kuwait – November 2020: The American Business Council (ABCK-AmCham Kuwait) in close collaboration with its Chairman’s Club members – Gulf Insurance Group and Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) – recently organised an initiative to benefit Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice (BACCH) and the Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital (KACCH).

 

As part of this initiative, ABCK-AmCham Kuwait, Gulf Insurance Group and ABK organised a day to visit KACCH. During the visit, the three organisations donated toys, colouring books and crayons to help children find healing through the power of play.

 

BACCH is the first-of-its-kind hospice providing the highest standard of multi-professional palliative care and family support to children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses in Kuwait. KACCH is a non-governmental charitable organisation that helps children and their families cope with the stresses of hospitalisation of their children.

 

Gulf Insurance Group attaches utmost importance to its role in social responsibility, and the visit is an integral part of the Group’s mission to benefit key segments of society with a focus on children and youth.

 

ABK’s participation stems from its commitment to make a difference in the communities in which it operates and its devotion to being a force for good. Through its community-centric activities, the Bank advocates inclusive and social development to create an equitable society.

 

ABCK- AmCham Kuwait consistently seeks strategic partnerships with Member companies and organizations driving engagement across various CSR activities and initiatives.

 

Arab Times

 

Kuwait Times

Al-Qabas

 

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ABCK-AmCham organizes informative webinar on Kuwait Law Updates

The American Business Council – AmCham Kuwait (ABCK-AmCham Kuwait) in collaboration with the German Business Council Kuwait, and Al Tamimi & Company, the largest law firm in the region, recently hosted an informative webinar on the most recent updates to laws and regulations in Kuwait, specically those that have an impact on businesses in the country.,

 

The keynote speaker at the informative and enlightening webinar was Partner and Co-Head of the Kuwait Office of Al Tamimi & CO Philip Kotsis. He started the discussion with a general overview of various laws that the public has had a keen focus on since the start of the global COVID pandemic, including the labor law, rent/lease law, force majeure issues, and the issuance of visas/work permits.

 

“Despite much discussion and rumor over the course of the summer, wholesale changes to the labor law (such as relief to employers regarding salary reduction and leave time) were not introduced. However, we did see efforts to assist Kuwait companies by providing aid to cover the salaries of Kuwaiti employees during the pandemic period,” said Mr. Kotsis.

 

On the recent amendments to the rent/lease law, Mr. Kotsis said that besides providing relief to tenants in relation to the payment of rent during the lockdown period, the courts were also given the discretion to determine the method and timing of rent payments in order to strike an equitable balance between lessor and lessee.

 

On the law regarding force majeure, Mr. Kotsis said that though it was not affected, legal practitioners were starting to see claims being brought before the courts involving force majeure and exceptional circumstances. “However, it will likely be some time before we see how these laws are applied in connection with the pandemic, as the cases will take to work their way through the court system,” said the legal firm’s co-head.

 

However, the two laws on which Mr. Kotsis spoke at length were the new bankruptcy law and the competition law. “The new bankruptcy law is of importance because prior to this there was no specialized law to tackle this issue. Though bankruptcy provisions were included in the financial stability law, it was not often relied on as most people in Kuwait have historically opted to resolve such situations through mutual agreement between debtors and creditors,” said Mr. Kotsis

 

He added, “Businesses, debtors and creditors have all welcomed the new law as a major step forward, as it streamlines and modernizes the bankruptcy provisions. The law attempts to de-stigmatize business failure and will hopefully have a positive impact on various aspects of business culture in Kuwait. Moreover, it will boost foreign investor confidence when they see that a structure is in place to effectively tackle this situation. The bankruptcy law allows for avoiding bankruptcy proceedings through agreement with creditors or through restructuring plans. The law will also apply to every natural person in Kuwait, merchant companies, local companies, as well as branches of foreign companies operating in Kuwait. It will authorize experts to help companies work these issues out between creditors and debtors.

 

“In addition, the new law calls for the establishment of a specialized bankruptcy court, which is a major step, as for the first time in Kuwait there will now be a separate court for bankruptcy cases. Generally, the concept of specialized courts is welcomed by the legal community, because having such courts will give litigants more access to experts who can take care of the issues at hand, and will at the same time, alleviate some of the burden from the general courts. “

Regarding the enforceability of judgements issued by the court, Mr. Kotsis said these include commencing liquidation procedures, notifying the concerned parties, disclosing decisions on the Kuwait stock exchange if it is a listed company, and instructing the debtor to disclose it on their website, unless the judge decides that the other methods of disclosure are sufficient.

 

In addition to these, the new law calls for preventative settlement and financial restructuring. Through preventive settlement, the debtor is provided with the option to avoid insolvency and keep control of the company by reaching an agreement with the creditors. The settlements are subject to creditor approval, however, once approved by the bankruptcy court, the decisions become enforceable on all creditors, regardless if they did not vote in favor of the restructuring or did not participate in the process.

 

He also mentioned that there will be an implementation of bankruptcy trustees, who will have oversight over bankruptcy procedures, along with a bankruptcy investigator, who will have oversight on the trustee and the company to ensure that all is going according to plan, and there will also be a bankruptcy commission that will be established under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry that will be applied to state owned companies.

 

Mr. Kotsis concluded his presentation with a discussion of the new competition law, which was recently published. This law regulates new areas of the competition practices that were not regulated previously. In addition to revising provisions under the old law, one major change codified under the new law is the introduction of vertical and horizontal competition practices.

 

He went on to state that the new law applies to any practice that takes place in Kuwait and outside of Kuwait that may restrict, harm, or negatively affect the freedom of competition in Kuwait. The new law clearly defines the areas of activities that are not subject to the law, for example, government-owned companies as may be decided by the council of ministries.

 

Horizontal and vertical relationships and their effect on competition are now more clear. For example, under horizontal relationships activities such as price fixing, fixing the volume of production and sale of goods, manipulating bids and tender prices through agreement or through price fixing, and restricting the technical development or investment of producing, selling, buying of distributing goods and services, will be targeted for strict regulation and oversight by the new law through the Competition Protection Authority. In terms of vertical relationships, the law prohibits agreements between principals and agents that may restrict or apply unfair competition practices in the market.

 

Finally, Mr. Kotsis indicated that the Competition Protection Authority will now have broader discretion and authority to decide whether certain activities fall within the scope of the law. And, in terms of mergers and acquisitions, the 35 percent control threshold has been removed, with a focus on the effect of the merger/acquisition on the market on a case by case basis, as opposed to a general threshold standard.

Read more: TimesKuwait

Sustainability – by Del Monte

Kuwait City,23 October. The American Business Council- AmCham Kuwait (ABCK-AmCham Kuwait) in collaboration with Fresh Del Monte,  hosted an informative webinar on sustainability within the food industry in an attempt to enlighten the public on recent initiatives in Kuwait as well as around the Region.

 

Fresh Del Monte, a worldwide key player in the fresh and canned goods, currently strives to provide healthy choices for consumers as part of their commitments to 2025 plan. Part of the plan include growing and educating communities, by providing educational opportunities to approximately 20,000 students through scholarships.

 

Fresh Del Monte has been working in developing and implementing more sustainable initiatives and business practices by following the approach of the “Deming Cycle” model, also known as the PDCA Workflow: Plan à Do à Check à Act. Fresh Del Monte has also implemented this through remotely checking their crops through technology and obtained different sustainability certificates such as LEAF, SEDEX, SWA, and Tesco.

 

Mr. Taymour Shukri, Regional Director for Quality Assurance and Health, Safety & Environment continued to emphasize how the company is able to reduce harmful gas emissions into the atmosphere by using Biodiesel Fuel instead of Fossil Fuel in its delivery fleet by partnering with fast food chains converting their used oil to Biodiesel.

 

Mr. Shukri comments: “The use of Diesel Generators has ceased at our operations in Saudi Arabia as the sites have become officially connected to electricity grid; Likewise, in other operations we have stopped the use of the standby generators through re-cabling projects. This translates to cleaner energy than burning Diesel into the atmosphere.

 

Fresh Del Monte is currently utilizing photovoltaic solar cells at their Distribution Center in Jordan, consuming less electricity by 9.1% which was due to replacing regular lights with LED and for the use of Photovoltaic Solar Cells at the Distribution Centre reducing the annual electric bill by 18%.. They are currently finalizing a project with an international renewable energy company, in which the company will install the systems, and Fresh Del Monte will pay for the electricity throughout a 20 -year agreement. Upon successful completion of the project, it will be expanded across the region.

 

In terms of occupational safety, Mr. Shukri said that the key factor is training employees often and giving them learning points, in order to make sure that their employees understand and take the matters as second nature when they operate at the facilities. During Covid-19 they have taken great action by creating in house decontaminations chambers, ensuring that the employees are being monitored and checked thoroughly, for the safety of others.

 

During the Question and Answer session, Mr. Shukri spoke about remote management for crops through drones and special cameras, along with other technology. He also spoke about the governments’ programs, which have aided farmers and companies to introduce sustainable practices for the communities through workshops, and by working with companies to do knowledge transfer. Fresh Del Monte directly supports the local authorities in providing this knowledge to communities, through organizations like Good Agriculture Practices (Global GAP). In Jordan they created the Jordan GAP which they were able to replicate with Lebanon, both ministries worked together with Fresh Del Monte to create a check list for Arab countries. have plans to initiate talks with the Ministry of Agriculture in Kuwait to bring these best practices to Kuwait.

 

Mr. Akram Kamal, the General Manager of Fresh Del Monte for our Kuwait unit provided a gift to one of the participants, which included the sustainable fruit assortments made in Kuwait, and congratulated the winner.

 

To finalize, Mr. Frank Belonus, the Chairman of ABCK-AmCham Kuwait, acknowledged and appreciated Mr. Shukri and Mr. Kamal along with Fresh Del Monte, for their crucial support to the community and for taking the time to be part of this informative webinar. Many companies are beginning to go down the road of sustainability, and we feel that Fresh Del Monte could support them with these activates.

 

ABCK- AmCham Kuwait is a non-profit organization comprised of American corporations, small and medium sized companies, and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs, both American and Kuwaiti. Since 1985, the American Business Council- AmCham Kuwait has acted as an advocate for American companies in the State of Kuwait. For more information about AmCham Kuwait, please visit our website at www.www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on social media channels @abck1985

 

Fresh Del Monte® brand has been synonymous with premium foods since its debut in 1886. For generations, our company has proudly earned our reputation with a series of innovations and a singular dedication to quality. Today that commitment to quality is deeply embedded in our culture. At Fresh Del Monte, we will always strive to cultivate the best wholesome vegetables, fruits, and tomatoes to help you and your family live a life full of vitality and enjoyment.

To learn more, go to:

http://www.delmontearabia.com/products.aspx

ABCK Virtual Speed Networking

ABCK organizes virtual networking event

The American Business Council- AmCham Kuwait (ABCK-AmCham Kuwait) hosted its first -ever Virtual Speed Networking Event on Tuesday, October 13, in collaboration with LivinWorld (LivinQ8), sponsored by Crowne Plaza Al Thuraya City.

 

The event kicked off with opening remarks by ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman, Mr. Frank Belonus, greeting everyone and mentioning the event’s unique offering as the first- ever of its kind for AmCham Kuwait. To finalize his greeting, Mr. Belonus gave a warm welcome to LivinQ8 and thanked AmCham Kuwait’s newest Chairman’s Club Member- Crowne Plaza Al Thuraya City, for being the Sponsors for the voucher gifts, which were raffled at the end of the event.

 

Membership Manager, Ms. Paola De La Roche provided a brief in regard to what ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s goal is, which is to support Kuwait in leveraging business and industry to find creative, effective solutions to the challenges Kuwait faces in this time of crisis, in its recovery, and in achieving its New Kuwait 2035 vision. AmCham Kuwait strives to support Kuwait’s ongoing efforts to improve its global competitiveness ranking, and support Kuwait’s goal of being a financial and trade hub that is commercially attractive for investment. She also spoke about the role of the Member corporations, which has allowed them to become a voice for American business interest in the State of Kuwait. Ms. De La Roche briefed participants with ground rules before the actual one on one networking started.

 

The AmCham Kuwait team recreated the efficiency of an in-person networking but this time, in an online environment using Zoom breakout rooms. The event was believed to be the first one organized in Kuwait. It provided participants an innovative and fun way to meet other Members and business professionals in a fast-paced environment. Members and non-Members enjoyed their conversations and making new contacts. The networking concluded with a raffle draw for 2 voucher gifts sponsored by Crowne Plaza Al Thuraya City, led by the Cluster Director of Sales & Marketing, Mr. Zaid Mashini.

 

Mr. Mashini announced the 2 winners for the raffle gifts and thanked everyone for being part of this event. Considering the positive feedback received from the crowd, AmCham Kuwait will be hosting another Virtual Speed Networking event in November.

 

ABCK- AmCham Kuwait is a non-profit organization comprised of American corporations, small and medium sized companies, and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs, both American and Kuwaiti. Since 1985, the American Business Council- AmCham Kuwait has acted as an advocate for American companies in the State of Kuwait. For more information about AmCham Kuwait, please visit our website at www.www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on social media channels @abck1985

 

Crowne Plaza Al Thuraya City is a luxury hotel with multiple conference facilities and nine specialty restaurants located a few minutes from Kuwait International Airport (KWI). You will be able to visit the famous Grand Avenues mall through their free shuttle service. The Crowne Plaza ® Al Thuraya City is a 5-star hotel with 207 opulent rooms and modern conferencing facilities including Kuwait’s largest Ballroom and state-of-the-art auditorium where you can host various types of ABCK- AmCham Kuwait Address: Crowne Plaza Kuwait Al Thuraya City, Holiday Inn Business Center, Airport Road, Farwaniya, Kuwait – 81006 meetings, conventions, and social occasions.

 

Click to read more:  Times Kuwait