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

 

Click to see more pictures

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

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait holds its signature ‘Townhall’ event

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait holds
it’s signature ‘Townhall’ event

 

ON Tuesday, Sept 22, the American Business Council – AmCham Kuwait (ABCKAmCham Kuwait) held its signature Townhall. Over sixty people tuned into the virtual event, which included the US Ambassador to Kuwait Alina L. Romanowski, guests from the ABCK-AmCham Kuwait community, US Embassy, and non-members from across different industries in Kuwait. The American Business Council of Kuwait (ABCK) is a non-profi t organization dedicated to the promotion and development of American business and American business interests in Kuwait. ABCK strives to promote better awareness of American companies, products, and services in Kuwait and provides a forum for American business and business interests and advocates the enhancement of business climate within Kuwait.

 

In his opening statements, ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman, Frank Belonus, welcomed the US ambassador and the attendees. He spoke of the challenges of the pandemic and collective effort of the ABCK–AmCham Kuwait in confronting it. “Every single one of us has been affected personally and professionally, but like all challenges in life, we persevere, we find solutions, we band together, and we overcome,” said Belonus. “ABCK continues to find creative ways to support you and your business needs by providing webinars focused on these new challenges that we are facing, finding ways to bring our business communities together and by providing relevant information, facilitating knowledge sharing and providing you a collective voice.” Belonus went on to provide an overview of the event agenda and introduced ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s board of directors. Following that, Belonus discussed the various Focus Groups within ABCKAmCham Kuwait and invited members to play an active role and join any focus group of interest.

 

Voice

 

The Guest of Honor, Ambassador Romanowski after taking to the virtual stage said, “For the past 35 years, AmCham Kuwait has played a vital role as the voice of the American business community in Kuwait. I’ve had the honor of speaking to AmCham Kuwait’s leadership and members at several virtual engagements throughout the COVID crisis. During our conversations, we discussed the importance of establishing and fostering strong relationships between our two governments and the business community in the U.S. and Kuwait to improve the bilateral trade and investment relationship.” She then discussed the importance of economic diversifi cation and various opportunities in different industries, emphasizing the bilateral trade between Kuwait and the U.S. and how together, both organizations work to improve the business environment and increase the overall trade relationship. The highlight of the event was the National Desert Storm Desert Shield Memorial. The guest speaker at the event, Cee Freeman, Vice President of the National Desert Storm Desert Shield gave a presentation detailing The National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial in Washington D.C. which will stand as a remembrance of the important events which took place in 1990 and 1991. “The world needs to remember what happened 30 years ago,” said Freeman, a desert storm veteran, who served in the war as a 20-year-old. “Our mission is to build this by the end of veteran’s day 2021 to commemorate and honor those members of the armed forces who served on active duty in support of operation desert storm and desert shield” said Freeman. He highlighted how the goal is to break ground on the Memorial in February 2021 to coincide with the 30th Anniversary of the Liberation of Kuwait, reiterating how The National Desert Storm War Memorial is deeply honored to receive this support from the State of Kuwait. “The memorial will commemorate a significant global moment of the 20th century,” he said. “Thirty four nations acted together in a U.S. led coalition to enforce U.N. Resolution 660 and liberate the State of Kuwait. The new approach to resolving conflict united the world, and signified the end of the Cold War.” The memorial will mention names of companies and individuals who make significant contributions to its realization. Later in the meeting, Esra Cavdarli Menke, ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Executive Director, introduced Rachad Abdallah, ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Chair of Membership Committee, and President of Honeywell Kuwait, Qatar, and Iraq. Mr. Abdallah provided a briefing on membership and policy updates such as the Member-to Member Benefits Program, MENA AmCham Benefits, and the Chamber’s various initiatives to connect corporate members. “One of our initiatives was to provide a grace period from February to September to those members in the hospitality industry who hadn’t paid their dues, and allowing the rest of the corporate members to pay in installments to ease the financial burden,” said Abdallah. He then concluded his remarks by encouraging attendees to learn more about ABCK-AmCham Kuwait. “If you know anyone who would like to join our chamber of commerce, please let us know, and we’ll be happy to contact them.”

 

Programs

 

This was followed by an overview of events and programs over the past year by Pete Swift, ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Vice Chairman and Events Committee Chair. Swift spoke of past events and highlighted some of the events that ABCK-AmCham Kuwait has planned for 2020. “We have been doing several online webinars since the pandemic, in collaboration with several members as well as different AmChams across the GCC. We will keep on doing webinars until the situation has settled. We can meet in a physical space” said Swift. He elaborated on some of the webinars held recently, emphasizing how the “main goal for these webinars was to educate/inform the public during this time, as several of these topics tackled questions that many of you had in mind, such as the laws at the beginning of the pandemic, fi nancial support and the central bank’s actions, the economy across the GCC and what we may be seeing in the future.” Swift handed over the virtual stage to Akram Kamal, ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Chair of U.S.-Kuwait Liaison Committee, who discussed in detail the latest updates from the U.S.-Kuwait Liaison Committee. Mr Kamal elaborated on different events and projects the committee organized such as roundtable with U.S. Undersecretary of State to discuss challenges of American businesses in Kuwait, a White Paper submitted to Kuwaiti Government and the U.S., and participation in various discussions with U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The event concluded with Esra Cavdarli Menke, ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Executive Director, briefing members on the Chamber’s activities and achievements over the past year. “Although we have had to take difficult measures due to the COVID-19 situation, not being able to host any physical events, we have been working hard to continue providing our members with the best,” said Menke. She concluded the session with Q&A where guest speakers responded to questions submitted by the attendees regarding the event, business concerns, and ABCK-AmCham Kuwait.

 

Read more…

Arab times

Times Kuwait

 

 

 

6 Ways to Launch a Startup Business Idea

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, July 22, Kuwait

 

6 Ways to Launch a Startup Business Idea

 

On Monday, July 20, The American Business Council-AmCham Kuwait (ABCK) hosted a webinar titled: 6 Ways to Launch a Startup Business Idea. The webinar focused on 6 ideal ways of starting a successful startup, providing guidance on how to validate startup ideas, and avoiding key reasons of startup failures.

 

The webinar was presented by Mr. Abdulla Hassan, Co-Founder and CEO of Dhow Capital.

 

In his opening remarks, Hassan greeted all attendees, thanked ABCK-AmCham Kuwait for the opportunity to share his knowledge with their members and the local community, and briefly reminded of the importance of taking precautions in light of Covid-19 updates. He began the presentation by providing an overview of the topics of discussion and the concept of innovation. “Innovation is one of the reasons why smaller countries have succeeded over larger countries, take the example of Singapore which didn’t have much natural resources to count on, but had a vision which was built around innovation, and today they are one of the strongest economies in the world. Germany after WW2 had lost everything but innovation and commitment to delivering innovation allowed them to be one of the biggest economic giants in the world. Similarly, the U.S. went through the biggest depression in the 30s” emphasized Hassan.

 

He then discussed in detail some of the key reasons startup ideas fail such as: variances in product-market fit across different countries or locations, not considering customer insights to create an offering that is customer-relevant, or user interphase is too complex for customers to engage. Even when the ideas are great, if not executed well, an idea by itself will not withstand the various challenges that come when launching a startup. One important factor that is often overlooked is that people acquire mentors and investors based on title or funding needs instead of synergy they have with the project. “Wrong investors and mentors are one of the key reasons people fail with their startup ideas. There is 90% failure in the startup world, most companies will fizzle out in year 2 or 3” emphasized Hassan.

 

Following that, he discussed some success stories, analyzing the rationale and thought process behind those ideas, especially the importance of validating an idea in the market. Notably, he pointed out how “this Covid-19 situation is a blessing and a curse. It’s very clear most people will choose to be indoors, so most ideas will be moving around that. 2021 and 2022 will be defining moments for the world, depending on when the vaccine comes or doesn’t come, so you can launch a lot of interesting, innovative ideas that can help people change the way they do things” said Hassan. He then gave an analogy regarding the evolution of the physical lock to digital pass codes following the launch of the internet and digital solutions, highlighting how innovation can take place in unexpected ways.

 

Hassan then proceeded to explain different ways to validate an idea and how validation should take place. “Validation is an exercise where you talk to 100 total strangers, not friends and family. You ask whether they think a problem, i.e. a traffic problem, is a real problem. Then state a solution and ask if they agree with the solution. Then follow that by asking if they agree this is an urgent problem, and if they are willing to pay for the solution” said Hassan, highlighting the steps to validate an idea. Timing is of key importance, he explained, as the startup should not be too early or too late but rather solve a problem that is the ‘need of the hour’.

 

Following that, Hassan explained “The 5 Why’s” method for dissecting and addressing a problem, and the importance of considering human elements as they sometimes contribute more to the root cause of an issue than technical problems. He then discussed the process of finding the right investors and gave advice on pitching a startup idea. Following that, he delved into detail explaining ‘10 Mantras’ that contribute to a successful entrepreneurship mindset, and 6 key steps to develop a successful startup idea.

 

To conclude, Hassan recapped the main points of discussion and opened up the floor to Q&A in which he engaged the attendees in an insightful discussion and offered further clarification regarding topics discussed throughout the webinar.

 

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 of Kuwait Ltd. (ABCK) has acted as an advocate for American companies in the State of Kuwait. For more information about ABCK, please visit our website or social media channels @abck1985

Read more on Times kuwait

Securing  Your Remote Workforce

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 30, Kuwait

 

Securing  Your Remote Workforce

On Tuesday, June 30, The American Business Council-AmCham Kuwait (ABCK) hosted a webinar in collaboration with Cisco titled: Securing Your Remote Workforce. The webinar focused on security risks and challenges with remote workforce, especially following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The webinar was presented by Mr. Ayed Al Qartah, Technical Solutions Architect for Cyber Security at Cisco.

 

In his opening remarks, Mr. Ayed greeted all attendees and thanked ABCK for the opportunity to share his knowledge with the ABCK community. He began the presentation by explaining the challenges globally with securing a remote workforce in responding to the global pandemic in a short time span. “Asking employees to start working from home was a big challenge because they were not prepared for this, allowing thousands of employees to connect remotely on a short time was challenging for many IT teams, directors, and managers” said Ayed.

 

Mr. Ayed explained the benefits of working from home for both employees and employers such as reduction of overhead costs, and higher productivity and efficiency. On the other hand, working remotely poses some challenges for businesses of all sizes as well as cybersecurity risks, he explained. After that, he discussed how remote workers unknowingly create more risk such as bypassing the VPN to gain corporate access, and the importance to keep employees informed and updated on these risks in order to avoid them.

 

He then highlighted some examples of how hackers recently leveraged COVID -19 themed campaigns to target users and corporations around the world, such as malware and phishing campaigns impersonating WHO, healthcare providers, or any government organization around the world to trick users to click on malicious links. “One famous campaign is the fake Johns Hopkins COVID -19 infection map, cyber criminals created a fake website where whenever a user click on it to access the latest numbers, it delivers malware silently to users” he said.

 

Mr. Ayed then proceeded to explain different ways in which IT and Security teams can enable remote working securely such as facilitating user access while minimizing shadow IT. Following that, he explained the importance of adapting a Zero-Trust Approach as opposed to the traditional approach, to ensure that every access to the network is legitimate, on any app, user, devise, and anytime during the day. In addition, he highlighted ways to maintain the last line of defense through endpoint security on corporate issued devises or personal devices.

 

Following that, Mr. Ayed explained how Cisco helps organizations in securing the remote access experience for their users, and their comprehensive secure remote work solution which covers all the connectivity security and other aspects threatening safe operations for organizations. He highlighted how their solution is very user friendly and how the VPN agent installed, together with the multi-factor authentication, and DNS security, work natively all together, allowing an easy and better IT experience.

 

To conclude, Mr. Ayed recapped the main security threats discussed and offered some final tips for securing a remote workforce. He then opened up the floor to Q&A in which he engaged the attendees in an insightful discussion and offered further clarification regarding concepts discussed throughout the webinar.

 

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 of Kuwait Ltd. (ABCK) has acted as an advocate for American companies in the State of Kuwait. For more information about ABCK, please visit our website or social media channels @abck1985

 

www.cisco.com/c/en_ae/index.html
Cisco is the worldwide leader in technology that powers the Internet. Cisco inspires new possibilities by reimagining your applications, securing your data, transforming your infrastructure, and empowering your teams for a global and inclusive future. Discover more on www.cisco.com/c/en_ae/index.html.

Read more…Times Kuwait 

COVID-19, A Stress Test For The Supply Chain

For Immediate Release

Sunday, May 31, Kuwait

 

COVID-19, A Stress Test For The Supply Chain

On Thursday, May 28, The American Business Council-AmCham Kuwait (ABCK) hosted a webinar with Gulf Agency Company Kuwait (GAC) titled: “COVID 19, a Stress Test for The Supply Chain”. Over 50 people tuned into the webinar which focused on Covid-19’s impact on Kuwait’s Supply Chain.

 

The webinar was presented by Mr. Filip Björklund, Managing Director of Gulf Agency Company (GAC) Kuwait.

 

In his opening remarks, Mr. Björklund thanked ABCK for the opportunity to share his knowledge with ABCK members, greeted all attendees and began the presentation by explaining in depth Standard Trade Theory which suggests that countries should produce the goods in which they have a comparative advantage, and then trade with other countries. He then highlighted the history of trade. “About 60 years ago we started with air movements when the commercial aircrafts started to expand and it’s now the mode which carried the highest value of the goods. But most of the cargo by ton-kilometers, 72% overall, is transported by sea. The international trade got supercharged about 60 years ago when the containerization reduced the cost to transport cargo by sea” explained Björklund.

 

Björklund then proceeded to discuss the various elements of the supply chain, the network to the end consumer. The main three components are materials and products, information and documents, and finance and payment. “These three need to function together, otherwise the supply chain will break in one part or another” said Björklund. He then discussed various costs involved within the supply chain, from physical costs such as production, transportation, and inventory storage cost, to market costs such as lost business due to lack of stock, and price markdowns when inventory exceeds demand.

 

Following that, Björklund discussed in depth the recent global impacts of Covid-19 on each of the three components of the supply chain. Notably, he highlighted how cargo operations continued to function normally in many ports, however, governments and port authorities introduced safety regulations and restrictions to the movement of ships crews, truck drivers and other people accessing port facilities. On the other hand, COVID19 resulted in an equipment/container imbalance, when containers could not be returned to Asia from Europe, the containers were not available where they are needed. Airfreight capacity decreased by 28% and rates have increased; COVID 19 surcharges were implemented by airport handling companies. With the introduction and use of Electronic Air Waybills (eAWB) by all other GCC states, Kuwait has an excellent opportunity to implement eAWB to improve its processes to be more efficient and release air cargo on a timely manner.

 

He also discussed how COVID19 has resulted in delays of processing of documents, payments, and cash flow issues resulting from closures of port locations and banks.

 

He then offered insight on the parallels between the COVID19 crisis and the Financial Crisis in 2007 -2008 which led to changes in Banking practices and Stress Tests. He stressed how crisis is the “mother of all change” and explained changes and best practices needed to prepare and adapt to a post-COVID19 world and future extreme events.

 

After that, Björklund examined the specific impacts of the COVID19 crisis on Kuwait’s supply chain, discussing in depth various key challenges such as production issues, blank sailings, port congestion, reduced transport fleet, reduced Ministry approvals and testing. In discussing finance and payments, Björklund highlighted how “banks closed their branches as Kuwait is using cheques quite a lot, and cheques can’t be cashed we are seeing a cash-flow issue in the country.”

 

Following that, Björklund shared some resources and information for further reading on supply chain management and challenges. He then concluded the session by opening the floor to Q&A in which he engaged the attendees in an insightful discussion and offered further clarification regarding concepts discussed throughout the webinar.

 

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 of Kuwait Ltd. (ABCK) has acted as an advocate for American companies in the State of Kuwait. For more information about ABCK, please visit our website or social media channels @abck1985

 

GAC is a worldwide service provider committed to delivering integrated services to the Shipping, Logistics, Marine and related markets at the highest levels of quality and safety. GAC Kuwait has strong knowledge and expertise in local, environmental and security regulations. As a recognized leader of shipping and logistics services provider in the country, with many high profile customers, GAC Kuwait is committed to a high standard of compliance and ethical work practices, with a strong focus on HSSE (Health, Safety, Security and Environment). For more information visit https://www.gac.com/gac-worldwide/middle-east/kuwait/

Crisis Management for Leaders, Organizations and Individuals

For Immediate Release

Sunday, May 10, Kuwait

Kuwait

 

Crisis Management for Leaders, Organizations and Individuals

 

The American Business Council-AmCham Kuwait (ABCK) hosted a webinar titled: Crisis Management for Leaders, Organizations, and Individuals, on Sunday, May 10. Over 70 people from Kuwait and the U.S. tuned into the virtual session which focused on the process of managing disruptive and unexpected events and the best practices to adapt to such events.

The webinar was presented by Mr. Frank Belonus, President and CEO of Falcon Desert International (FDI), and Chairman of ABCK.

 

Belonus began the webinar by greeting all attendees and stating the goals of this webinar. He then gave an overview of the concept of crisis management, explaining its definition, and expanding on its various components such as Change Management. “Crisis management is the process by which an organization deals with a disruptive and unexpected event that threatens to harm the organization or its stakeholders. It goes beyond and organization, can be applied individually as well” explained Belonus.

 

Belonus then proceeded to highlight the importance of having an open mindset and perspective to change to be successful in managing crisis. “We always have been going through change. My experience in the military as a young leader, one of the very first thing I learned is that change is constant and its always going to happen. We would plan for a week to do some kind of operation and in five minutes after it started they would intentionally change everything because they wanted agile and adaptive leaders that can make decisions on their feet. So, embrace the culture of change and the fact it will always happen.” said Belonus.

 

Following that, Belonus discussed in-depth the steps that organizations and individuals can take to best prepare for and respond to a crisis and compared the approach between the two. He then drew on the importance of open communication during a crisis, explaining how it is necessary to be transparent, be empathetic and address employee’s fears and concerns, and distill confidence and hope. He also highlighted how social media can be a vital tool during a crisis as it serves as an efficient way to provide information and resources and maintain a positive relationship with customers and suppliers.

 

He then offered insight on how businesses can assess and optimize their operations in times of crisis, explaining in depth various aspects of a business plan that can be analyzed such as marketing and sales plan, pricing, exit strategy. He also examined some tools such as SWOT analysis which can be used by organizations to identify their key strengths and strategic positioning.

 

Belonus then summarized the key takeaways for both organizations and individuals to adapt in times of crisis and concluded by highlighting the importance of leveraging assets in corporate social responsibility when possible during a crisis.

 

To conclude, Belonus opened the session to Q&A in which he engaged the attendees in an insightful discussion and offered further clarification regarding concepts discussed throughout the webinar.

 

ABCK 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 of Kuwait Ltd. (ABCK) has acted as an advocate for American companies in the State of Kuwait. For more information about ABCK, please visit our website or social media channels @abck1985