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ABCK-AmCham Kuwait & Al Tamimi & Company Host a ‘Regional Arbitration Updates’ Webinar


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Kuwait, 24 February 2022: ABCK-AmCham Kuwait organized a webinar in collaboration with Al Tamimi & Company on the topic of ‘GCC-Regional Arbitration Updates’ with the support of AmCham Abu Dhabi and AmCham Bahrain.  The event covered the salient features of international arbitration, which continues to be the preferred method for resolving cross-border commercial disputes for companies operating in Kuwait and the broader Middle East. The webinar addressed the key elements that should be included when drafting arbitration clauses in commercial contracts and an overview of the arbitral process itself.

 

The event was opened by Thomas R. Snider (Partner, Head of Arbitration at Al Tamimi & Company), as he provided participants with an introduction on international arbitration and spoke about the reasons why it is used. Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution based on the parties’ consent, as it required agreement between both disputing parties. Disputes are resolved by neutral, non-governmental decision-makers chosen by or for the parties, and arbitration produces a binding award, which is capable of international enforcement through national courts and is more readily enforceable internationally than a court judgment. Snider mentioned that some reasons for using arbitration include enforceability, neutrality, ability to choose decision-maker, procedural flexibility, confidentiality, etc.

 

Snider moved on to talk about benefits or arbitration through the ‘New Your Convention’ which allows international arbitration to work effectively. Kuwait ratified this Convention in 1978, as the two primary obligations placed by The New York Convention on state parties were to recognize/enforce arbitration agreements and recognize/enforce foreign arbitral awards, subject only to limited exceptions. Snider explained that over 80 countries have adopted some version of the Model Law, including several leading trade and investment countries, however, Kuwait is yet to adopt the adopted version of the UNICITRAL Model Law, instead, Kuwait arbitration law was contained in various provisions of the civil procedure code.

 

Next, Philip Kotsis (Partner, Head of Office – Kuwait Al Tamimi & Company) spoke about Kuwait’s specific considerations. As a signatory, Kuwait courts regularly enforce the agreement of the parties to arbitrate and Kuwait courts retain jurisdiction under certain circumstances (failure to properly assert, non-binding, choice of arbitration or courts, etc.). However, agreeing to arbitration was not considered a normal act/decision under the Kuwait Companies Law (Art. 46). Kotsis explained that proper corporate authorization had to be obtained to include an arbitration clause (coupled with R&W). Kotsis noted that Kuwait would recognize and enforce arbitration awards if the procedural requirements are met.

 

Snider moved on to speak on the Seat or Place of Arbitration as he mentioned that it determines things such as if the New York Convention applies, the procedural law of the arbitration, which courts have supervisory jurisdiction over the arbitration, and the jurisdiction in which the award may be annulled. Snider also explained the difference between an Arbitration in both Ad Hoc and Institutional cases. Snider suggested that for the most part, entities should opt for institutional arbitration as they can benefit from an institution providing more clarity and guidance during the arbitration process. Snider then provided a list of different International Arbitral Institutions with which entities can work with.

 

Lastly, the speakers spoke about the new Decree No. 34 of 2021 was explained which was issued by the Government of Dubai for the Dubai International Arbitration Centre” (the “Decree”) on 14 September 2021. The Decree abolished the DIFC Arbitration Institute (DAI) and the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC). It was further explained that the DIFC-LCIA was a joint venture between DAI and the LCIA and that the operation of the DAI and EMAC was transferred to DIAC, along with the ownership of their property, assets, and funds, employees, and lists of registered arbitrators, conciliators, and experts. This decree came into force on 20 September 2021 and was supplemented by The Statute of Dubai International Arbitration Centre, which sets out the DIAC’s objectives, governance, and the formation of the Court for Arbitration.

 

Lastly, speakers further discussed the impact of the Decree on Existing Disputes and mentioned that Arbitral tribunals that had been formed by DAI and EMAC (as well as DIAC) at the date must now enter into force of the Decree, as it continues in accordance with their respective rules and procedures, unless otherwise agreed by the parties and for all practical uncertainty that remains – further clarification may be forthcoming by the end of the Decree’s six-month transition period (which expires on 20 March 2022).

 

Speakers closed the event with a Q&A session with the participants.

 

ABOUT 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 interests in the state of Kuwait. For More Information, please visit our website at www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on social media channels at @abck1985

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Hosts a Webinar on The Digitization of Kuwait’s Healthcare Sector

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Hosts a Webinar on The Digitization of Kuwait’s Healthcare Sector

 

February 22nd, 2022. ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s Healthcare Focus Group in collaboration with Viatris, Dell Technologies, and CISCO hosted a webinar on ‘The Digitization of Kuwait’s Healthcare Sector’, with the support of the U.S. Embassy of Kuwait and Kuwait’s Ministry of Health (MOH). The event focused on different aspects of the digitization of the healthcare sector, its strategic approach in reducing the cost of innovation, and it highlighted healthcare facility efficiencies through digitization of systems.

 

The event started with the opening remarks by AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman – Pete Swift who welcomed the participants and gave a warm welcome to Eric Podzorski, the U.S. Embassy’s Senior Commercial Officer. Swift also welcomed and thanked the Chair of the event Dr. Fatma Al Najjar, Assistant Undersecretary for Private Medical Services Affairs at the Ministry of Health.

 

During her opening remarks, Dr. Al-Najjar stated “The Ministry of Health has already implemented various digitalized processes which have proven to be a great help and success; especially during the early days of the pandemic of COVID-19 and thereafter. There is no other area in healthcare that offers so much potential for increasing efficiency, improving medical quality, enhancing patient safety, and achieving sustainable economic success as digitalization.”.

 

Tamer El Sallab, Chair of AmCham Kuwait’s Healthcare Focus Group opened the discussion by introducing Dr. Gabriel Jipa who spoke on the topic of The Healthcare Digitization Strategy and Innovation. Dr. Jipa highlighted the key components of digital healthcare, along with cost optimization for innovation and how to bring a new perspective and innovation together. Dr. Jipa finalized his presentation by discussing the challenges and the opportunities of data-driven systems which involve tackling challenges for how this data will be utilized and protected, as well as artificial intelligence regulatory frameworks and how these can be done in a safe and ethical way. “Digital strategy is not a goal by itself, and it must be tied to the outcomes that are expected, and it should be aimed towards the benefit of the healthcare ecosystem.”- Dr. Jipa.

 

Following the discussion, Rabih Saad, Senior Engineering Manager -GCC at Cisco Systems, highlighted that this is a crucial time for the use of technology to change our world and build bridges to the future of care. Saad gave in-depth information about Healthcare’s main pillars which include operational transformation which enables the transformation of digital and physical healthcare spaces, enabling healthcare systems, applications, and users to connect at scale. The second pillar focuses on security, the third pillar focuses on remote patient care through telehealth and virtual care, and the last pillar is the data-driven clinical workflows and hybrid cloud platforms.

 

Subsequently, Russell Mayne Healthcare Field Director, MERAT (Middle East, Russia, Africa, and Turkey) at Dell Technologies, addressed the topic of Cybersecurity in the healthcare sector and how we can use a standards-based approach to drive healthcare digitization.  In his presentation, he spoke about the exponential growth of patient data, which has led to an increased number of healthcare cyber threats. He mentioned that the utilization of healthcare digitization must be done with a strong foundation of secure care. Cyber-resilient strategies must be in place because without it, organizations put themselves at risk of a successful attack. This would have significant financial, organizational, operational, and clinical impact. Mayne suggested that to digitize with intent and focus, organizations and governments should look into utilizing a standard system from organizations like HIMMS (Healthcare Information and Management System Society Standards) which are internationally recognized.  This provides focus on governance, workforce, interoperability standards, Cyber-resilience, Patient-focused, and have strong regulatory clarity. The presentations were followed by a Q&A from the audience.

 

To finalize, Dr. Rihab AlWotayan, Director of International Health Relations at the Kuwait Ministry of Health stated, “Kuwait’s Ministry of Health Kuwait is looking forward to collaborating with AmCham Kuwait in creating new opportunities in the digital health field by serving the patients in simplifying the system”.

 

ABOUT 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 interests in the state of Kuwait. For More Information, please visit our website at www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on social media channels at @abck1985

AmCham Kuwait Hosts Informational Briefing and Speed Networking Event

January 31, 2022: The ABCK – AmCham Kuwait held an Informational Session and Speed Networking Event, attended by several AmCham Members, Business Councils, and Friends. The event started with the opening remarks by AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman – Pete Swift and AmCham Kuwait’s Vice-Chair- Dr. Arezou Harraf who welcomed participants and gave a special welcome to the new U.S. Embassy’s Senior Commercial Officer – Eric Podzorski, who recently arrived in Kuwait.

 

Swift opened the session with an explanation of AmCham Kuwait’s mission and vision to promote and increase awareness of American businesses, services/products, enhance business relationships between the United States and Kuwait, and provide a forum in which members can share best business practices and expertise. Swift mentioned that AmChams bring regional and global awareness on the importance of collaboration amongst the private sector and the government sector through which country relations can be enhanced.

 

Swift spoke about AmCham Kuwait’s scopes which are: Advocacy, Networking, Marketing, and Information. He said that “We advocate by organizing round-table discussions, industry-specific focus groups, and provide a platform for members to have a voice”. Swift explained that Networking gives the members the opportunities to engage in Business-to-Business discussions, engage with industry leaders, expand their business network, and reach out to local businesses for partnerships and collaborations.

 

He also mentioned that AmCham Kuwait’s marketing efforts are aimed at high exposure, recognition, and tangible benefits for our member companies. These are done through our monthly newsletter and social media by promoting Members’ products/services/initiatives and businesses throughout all of the social media platforms. AmCham Kuwait also partners with Members for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and collaborates with member companies on different industry-based webinars and other business enhancement initiatives. Swift finalized his presentation by discussing the information provided to AmCham’s network, as it involves important aspects of doing business in Kuwait and other key updates to specific sectors through its Focus Groups.

 

Following Swift’s presentation, Dr. Harraf spoke in-depth about the benefits and requirements for individuals, Small Enterprises, Corporate Members, and Chairman’s Club Members. She also highlighted a new recognition which is given to companies who have partnered with AmCham Kuwait through strong involvement and support, and these are recognized as Champions. AmCham Kuwait’s current Champions are GOFSCO, Lockheed Martin, and KGL.

 

To finalize, AmCham Kuwait closed the discussion with a virtual speed networking event in which participants were randomly assigned to break-out rooms of 4 people for eight minutes, and these rooms are changed after the time has passed in order to allow participants to meet several people throughout the hour.

 

ABOUT 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 interests in the state of Kuwait. For More Information, please visit our website at www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on social media channels at @abck1985

‘How to do Business with the U.S. Military’ – Two Session Workshop

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait and the U.S. Military host a Two Session Workshop on ‘How to do Business with the U.S. Military’

 

31st January 2022 – Kuwait: ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosted a 2-session virtual workshop on ‘How to do Business with the U.S. Military’ with speakers from the U.S. Army’s Regional Contracting Center- Kuwait (RCC-KU), The Theater Contracting Center- Southwest Asia (TCC-SWA), and the U.S. Air Force’s 386TH ECONS. The event was held in partnership with several American Chambers of Commerce (AmChams) in the GCC: Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.

 

The event started with the opening remarks by AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman – Pete Swift, who welcomed the AmChams in the region and thanked participants for taking the time to learn more about doing business with the U.S. Federal Government.

 

 

The opening remarks were followed by the U.S. Army’s presenters – Major Eric Forcey, Contracting Officer at the Regional Contracting Center – Kuwait (RCC-KU), and 1st Lieutenant Peter Hunerkoch from the Kuwait Pay Office. The first session of the workshop targeted current vendors, covering topics such as: What are the PIEE and WAWF? How to gain access: Pre-registration and General Steps, PIEE Self- registration, Invoicing: Kuwait Pay Office, Invoice Types, Contracting Relationship, Invoice Workflow and Timelines, WAWF invoice Workflow and Timelines, Invoice Instructions and Elements of a Contract Line-Item Number (CLIN) and Common Invoice Errors and WAWF invoicing Instructions.

 

Major Forcey spoke about the Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment (PIEE) as the U.S. Government’s “one-stop-shop” for procurement capabilities. PIEE is a suite of business information systems for the company’s U.S. Federal sales, and it is home to the Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) and Electronic Data Access (EDA), MyInvoice, and other capabilities. RCC-KU also spoke about WAWF which is a module within the broader PIEE, as WAWF is a secure Web-based system for electronic invoicing, receipt, and acceptance. RCC-KU also added that WAWF is the official system through which contractors must submit shipping/receiving reports and invoices.

 

Subsequently, the presenters provided an in-depth explanation about PIEE Self-registration and how vendors can gain access to the mentioned. To conclude the detailed guidance, the presenters spoke about common WAWF invoice document types, status, descriptions, and reasons why invoices get rejected.

 

Following the discussion, the Kuwait Pay Office’s representative 1st LT Hunerkoch spoke about the role of the Kuwait Pay office, whose role targets the review, certification, and payment of contractual invoices on behalf of the United States Government. This presentation was followed by a virtual live demonstration on how to go about invoicing through WAWF.

 

To finalize the 1st Session, Lieutenant Colonel La’Tasha Watson, Battalion commander of the TCC-SWA, spoke about their role in the region, and procurement and contracting support opportunities available throughout the region. The TCC-SWA provides contracting support to all GCC countries except Kuwait, Iraq and Syria.

 

Moving on to the Second Session, the U.S. Air Force’s presenters – Captain Andrew Ingerson, Deputy Commander, and Master Sergeant (MSgt) Seth Swieter, Flight Chief, Government Purchase Card section, from the 386TH ECONS provided an in-depth presentation on how to register as a vendor in SAM. Presenters spoke about the purpose of this training and highlighted that it is mandatory for vendors to have an active SAM registration if vendors are interested in being eligible for contract awards above the micro-purchase threshold, which is $35,000 USD. The presentations concluded with a question & answers session.

 

ABOUT 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 interests in the state of Kuwait. For More Information, please visit our website at www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on social media channels at @abck1985

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s Christmas Social 2021

The ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosts its Annual Christmas Dinner

 

 

December 21st, 2021– ABCK-AmCham Kuwait held its Annual Christmas Dinner in December at the Hyatt Regency AlKout Mall in attendance of their Members, VIPs, and friends. The dinner began with opening remarks from AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman- Pete Swift, who welcomed guests, and spoke about the role of AmCham Kuwait since 1985. ABCK-AmCham Kuwait has been fostering relationships between American and Kuwaiti businesses. As the oldest American Business Council in the Gulf Region, AmCham Kuwait leads the way for promoting American companies in Kuwait. “This dinner is quite special, as we haven’t had a Christmas dinner together with our members and friends in the past 2 years. Christmas is a wonderful holiday that we tend to spend together with our loved ones and friends. It is also a time of giving, communion, and being grateful for what we have.” Swift stated.

 

Swift gave a very special thanks to AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman’s Club members who have been supporting them strongly throughout the pandemic. He said, “We truly thank them for their patronage, as without them we wouldn’t be able to expand our operations in the way that we have been able to. Our advocacy efforts are heavily reliant on our members’ support.” He then thanked each of the Chairman’s Club members starting with the 3 champions: GOFSCO, KGL, and Lockheed Martin. He expressed his thanks to each of them for their crucial support. He also thanked the corporate members, small enterprises, and individual members for their time, efforts, and engagement towards the Chamber’s initiatives.

 

 

To conclude the event, the AmCham Kuwait team held a trivia activity in which guests had to answer questions in order to earn raffle prizes. The raffle gift sponsors for this event were Chairman’s Club Members: Easa Husain Al Yousifi & Sons which provided several coupons to be used at their Best Yousifi Stores in Kuwait, and The Sultan Center which provided gift boxes with delicious goodies, Corporate Member: Millennium Hotel & Convention Center Kuwait provided lunch and dinner invitations at their famous El Publico restaurant (specialized in South American Cuisine) and lunch and dinner invitations to their Lamar restaurant. Lastly, P.F. Chang’s (Alshaya) and The Cheesecake Factory (Alshaya) provided several vouchers to be used at their locations in Kuwait. AmCham Kuwait also provided a lucky guest with a complimentary entry for 2 to one of their Annual Signature events.

 

The highlight of the evening was the grand entrance of the special guest (Santa Claus), who provided gifts to the children present at the event. Families and attendees were invited to join to take group photos with him.

 

To finalize, Swift thanked everyone for participating at the Christmas dinner and wished everyone a happy holiday and safe travels. A photo session with the raffle gift winners and AmCham Kuwait’s Chair concluded the event. Swift also thanked AmCham Kuwait’s team and the volunteers for organizing an excellent event.

 

 

 

 

19th ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s Annual Golf Tournament

The ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosts their 19th Annual Golf Tournament

 

 

December 13th, 2021- ABCK-AmCham Kuwait held its 19th Annual Golf Tournament on December 4th at Sahara Kuwait Golf Resort. This Annual Golf Tournament event was sponsored by Platinum Sponsor- Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport Company (KGL), Gold Sponsor- Gas and Oil Field Services Company (GOFSCO), and the event’s Exclusive Travel & Tourism Partner- IFA International Travel and Tourism (IFA).

 

The Event began with opening remarks by AmCham Kuwait’s Vice-Chair Dr. Arezou Harraf, who expressed gratitude to AmCham Kuwait members for their consistent support over the years and thanked all the golfers for coming out to spend the day. Dr. Harraf also welcomed the new golfers and commended them for their performance.

 

Dr. Harraf then moved on to recognize and thank the event sponsors, starting with the event’s Exclusive Travel and Tourism partner – IFA International Travel & Tourism.

 

Next Dr. Arezou Harraf recognized the event’s sponsors and AmCham Kuwait’s Champions- starting with the event’s Gold Sponsor- Gas and Oil Field Services Company (GOFSCO), represented by Mr. Partha Chaudhury, Vice President of Commercial and Contracts.

 

Dr. Harraf then recognized the event’s Platinum Sponsor- KGL, as she highlighted that KGL also sponsored the Thanksgiving dinner and stated that AmCham Kuwait was truly grateful for their constant support. KGL was represented by Mr. Jeffrey Wilder, Project Manager.

 

Next, AmCham Kuwait held its awards ceremony, which were presented by Dr. Harraf. Starting with the category awards: Longest Drive- won by Michaela Abey, and Closest to the Pin- won by Johan du Toit. Consequently, the tournament winning teams were announced- The third place was earned by the team of Tobin Wait, Paul Pallister, Michaela Abey and Eoin Fitzgerald. The second place was earned by the team of Adel Antabli, Dr. Scott Pezanowski, Partha Chaudhury and Gino Alvarez. The first place and winner of the Annual Golf Tournament was earned by the team of Philip Kotsis, Dan Leritz, Les Moskaliuk and Gabe DiMauro.

 

 

To finalize the event, the AmCham Kuwait team held a raffle. The raffle gifts included: special dinner invitations from 300 Fahrenheit Steakhouse; Dinner invitations and spa entries from Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa; Gym memberships, dinner vouchers and spa entries from the Crowne Plaza Kuwait Al Thuraya City. Other raffle prizes such as physiotherapy assessments were provided by DISC, in-store Vouchers from Alshaya Company’s – Footlocker, and introductory golf lessons from Sahara Kuwait Golf Course.

 

The highlight of the event was the raffle prize of 1 Business class ticket to anywhere in Europe from IFA International Travel & Tourism.

 

A photo session with the winners, the raffle gift sponsor representatives, and AmCham Kuwait’s Vice-Chair concluded the event, as Dr. Harraf thanked AmCham Kuwait’s team and the volunteers for organising the event.

The ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosts their Annual Thanksgiving Dinner

The ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosts their Annual Thanksgiving Dinner

 

November 29th, 2021- ABCK-AmCham Kuwait held its Annual Thanksgiving Dinner on November 23rd at the Hilton Kuwait Resort’s Al Dorra Ballroom. This Annual Thanksgiving event was sponsored by Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport Company (KGL), The Bridge Company, Gulf Insurance Group (GIG), and EQUATE Petrochemicals Company (EQUATE), as well as the event’s Exclusive Airline Partner, KLM & Air France.

 

The dinner began with opening remarks from AmCham Kuwait’s Vice-Chair Dr. Arezou Harraf, who expressed gratitude to AmCham Kuwait Members for their consistent support over the years and spoke about the meaning of Thanksgiving and its significance during these times.  Dr. Harraf also welcomed the guest of honor, Mr. James Holtsnider, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to Kuwait, and thanked the U.S. Embassy for their participation in this event. Consequently, Dr. Harraf thanked the U.S. Military men and women who were able to attend the event for their service and sacrifice, as she asked for a round of applause to honor them.

 

Following Dr. Harraf’s opening remarks, U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Holtsnider thanked ABCK-AmCham Kuwait for hosting the event and emphasized the friendly relationship between the United States and Kuwait.  Mr. Holtsnider also took a moment to thank the U.S. military service men and women in attendance, as he spoke about what the holiday meant to him and shared the spirit of gratitude with guests.

 

Next, Mr. Yousef Dashti (Board Member), the Platinum Sponsor’s (KGL) representative, thanked everyone for attending the event and highlighted KGL’s work with the U.S. military as well as his appreciation for the service men and women for their efforts, and he thanked them for spending Thanksgiving with AmCham Kuwait.

Mrs. Paola de la Roche (AmCham Kuwait’s Acting Executive Director) honored the event’s sponsors as the evening proceeded, and awards were given by AmCham Kuwait’s Vice-Chair, Dr. Harraf. The first award was given to the event’s Exclusive Airline Partner, KLM & Air France, represented by Mr. Rajat Kumar (Country Manager) and his colleagues.  The sole Silver Sponsor Award was presented to EQUATE Petrochemicals Company.  The first Gold Sponsor award was presented to Gulf Insurance Group (GIG), represented by Mr. Khaled Khoursheed (Marine & Aviation Officer), and the second Gold Sponsor award was presented to The Bridge Company, represented by Mr. Fouad Rouh (CEO), and Mrs. Dana Majthob (COO).  Finally, the sole Platinum Award was presented to AmCham Kuwait’s one of three Champions and Chairman’s Club Member – KGL, represented by Mr. Yousef Dashti (Board Member) and Mr. Sam Khatib (Chief Business Development Officer).

Once the Awards Ceremony was finalized, AmCham Kuwait’s Vice-Chair and the U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission followed a long-time tradition and cut the Thanksgiving Turkey together, as dinner and entertainment followed.

To finalize the evening, the AmCham Kuwait team held a raffle. The raffle gifts included dinner invitations from the Hilton Kuwait Resort at their famous Teatro restaurant, fruit baskets from Del Monte Arabia, gift bags from Unilever, and the highlight of the evening- 1 airplane ticket to the U.S. and 1 airplane ticket to Europe from KLM.

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Hosts a webinar on Kuwait’s Future Energy Sector

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Hosts a webinar on Kuwait’s Future Energy Sector

 

Kuwait, November 28, 2021 – ABCK – AmCham Kuwait hosted a webinar on the topic of ‘Kuwait’s Future Energy Sector’ presented by: Sarah AlUsaimi, Industrial Engineering Specialist at Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects at the Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP), and Fred Shuaibi – Energy Focus Group Chair (ABCK-AmCham Kuwait) and Partner in Charge at KNDR.

 

AlUsaimi spoke on the topic of ‘PPP & Renewable Energy Projects in Kuwait’, starting with Kuwait’s demographics, as well the structure of Foreign Investment in Kuwait, as she briefly explained the roles of three important bodies in Kuwait’s business environment including KDIPA (Kuwait Direct Investment Promotional Authority), Council of Ministers General Secretariat, and KAPP. AlUsaimi further elaborated on the role of KAPP as the main body responsible for PPP projects implementation.

 

AlUsaimi explained ‘Kuwait Vision 2035’ and the Kuwait National Development Plan in which a unified direction is intended to transform Kuwait into a financial, cultural, and institutional leader in the region. She explained that the program is organized around seven pillars and 5 strategic directions, which are Kuwait’s global position, human capital, healthcare, living environment, infrastructure, economy, and public administration.

 

The PPP framework in Kuwait was explained and its various components, such as the Department of Legal Advice and Legislation, State Audit Bureau, other public entities. AlUsaimi also spoke about the PPP Project cycle in Kuwait which starts with the preparation of the project proposal and then goes to the assignment of the Transaction Advisor, which then leads to the preparation of a feasibility study. The project and EOI are then announced and preparation and release of RFQ Documents are done, as it then moves to the evaluation of submitted SOQs and preparation and release of RFP Documents. Next, the selection of the preferred bidder and negotiations are done and finally, the signing of the PPP agreement and financial closure is done.

 

AlUsaimi explained the milestones for the Kuwaiti PPP program and highlighted that since its establishment in 2014, KAPP had tendered around (7) projects in multiple sectors (utilities, education, waste management, real estate, and services), worth 4,840 million USD in estimated Capital Expenditure (CapEx). Another important milestone was KAPP’s latest project, Um Al Hayman WWTP, which achieved financial close on July 29th, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic and received many regional awards and global recognition.

 

AlUsaimi also explained some advantages of doing PPPs in Kuwait including high credit rating, political stability, internationally recognized democracy, attractive incentives such as waivers on customs and taxes, and low usufruct fees. Other benefits include a legally binding and well-defined contractual framework, transparent competitive bidding procedures with external oversight and audit, governmental high need of infrastructure development/enhancement of services to meet demand, and urban development amongst others.

 

AlUsaimi then gave in-depth information on Energy Sector in Kuwait and briefly explained the various Renewable Energy Projects in Kuwait such as the Shagaya Renewable Energy Project whose first phase was completed under the supervision of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), which contracted by leading international companies in the field of solar and wind power plants. Al-Dibdibah Power & Shagaya Renewable Energy – Phase III Project is an extension to Kuwait’s vision of producing up to 15% of the energy from renewable energy sources by the year 2030. She highlighted that Al-Dibdibah Power & Shagaya Renewable Energy – Phase III Project is intended to utilize a mix of different technologies, that might include Solar Photovoltaic (PV) plant, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant, Wind Power Plant.

 

Fred Shuaibi then followed the presentation with the topic of ‘Kuwait’s Oil & Gas Sector’s Efforts in the Road to Recovery Post-Pandemic’. He started his presentation by speaking about the challenges and setbacks that Kuwait’s Oil & Gas sector (OGS) has experienced due to the pandemic, as well as the global energy and its impact on the world’s economy. Shuaibi said that Kuwait has recognized the urgent need to regroup its OGS sectors that suffered heavily in terms of day-to-day operations, loss of expert and skilled manpower in its various OGS due to Pandemic lockdowns, and limited access to workplaces.

 

He explained that the OGS authorities have worked on revamping the affected operations in the OGS and initiated various recovery plans starting with consolidating its companies’ structure and regrouping all OGS companies under 3 major companies. Shuaibi further explained that the move aimed at reducing setbacks caused by the pandemic and to provide a strong recovery plan during the upcoming period through strong and well-coordinated management in its quest to save costs and reap reasonable profit. This will help boost the local economy and the country’s visionary National Development Plan (NDP) vision of 2035.

 

Shuaibi said that Kuwait’s OGS is the backbone of the economy and the country’s major revenue; being the development mechanism for the various sub-development plans of Kuwait’s NDP vision of 2035.

 

The Kuwaiti OGS has entered the current post-pandemic critical period with its recovery plan by continuing full operations of previously contracted projects and issuing new projects in support of the local OGS production operations and maintenance activities for its overall facilities. This ambitious plan has added more oil well drilling and exploration by tapping various oil resources to gain time and money to meet the local economy recovery expectation, and the international market demands.

 

Shuaibi explained the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s (KPC) Strategy Guidelines which are: 1. Sustaining Crude Oil Production, 2. Development of free(non-associated) gas fields, 3. Development of new “hydrocarbon” conventional resources, 4. Construction of a new greenfield refinery in Kuwait, 5. Upgrading existing refineries to produce cleaner products, 6. Construction of liquid natural gas (LNG) import facilities, 7. Construction of an integrated refining and petrochemical complex in Vietnam, 8. Applying renewable resources technology in the OGS to reduce energy consumption.

 

Finally, Shuaibi summarized that Kuwait’s OGS has several major factors to address in its road to full recovery as mentioned while hoping that these plans and efforts subsequently will grant Kuwait a better future in its quest to develop a new Kuwait as a new flourishing, investment sound, making it a profitable/economical international zone and by all a bright future for a New Kuwait Vision of 2035.

 

The presentation came to an end with this and was open for Q&A from the audience.

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosts an Inter-Council Speed Networking Event

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosts an Inter-Council Speed Networking Event

 

October 26, 2021: The American Business Council (ABCK)-AmCham Kuwait, Australian Business Group Kuwait, British Business Forum Kuwait, Canadian Business Council-Kuwait, French Business Council-Kuwait, German Business Council- Kuwait, Kuwait India Business Council, Lebanese Business Council-Kuwait,  Portuguese Business Council- Kuwait and Spanish Business Council – Kuwait, held their second Inter-Council networking event for 2021, to foster new relationships among member companies throughout the network of Chambers and Councils in the State of Kuwait. The event also welcomed the newly formed Portuguese business Council and Spanish Business Council-Kuwait.

 

 

The Inter-Council Networking event facilitated fast-moving networking sessions for business owners and executives. Attendees were grouped together in rooms with a few others, and each had the opportunity to interact with several professionals in Kuwait as they shared their own business profiles.

 

 

Over 1,000 member companies and millions of dollars in foreign investment in Kuwait are represented by the Councils/Forums and Chambers. They are the country’s go-to groups for anything trade-related.

 

The Councils and Chambers are dedicated to supporting the development of commercial relations between Kuwait and their representative countries as partners for their respective countries, but they also focus heavily on networking Kuwait’s business community through unique events and programs year-round.

 

 

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 channels at @abck1985

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosts a webinar on ‘How to do Business with the U.S. Military’

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosts a webinar on ‘How to do Business with the U.S. Military’

 

28th October 2021 – Kuwait: ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosted a webinar and workshop on ‘How to do Business with the U.S. Military’ with speakers from the U.S. Army’s Regional Contracting Center- Kuwait (RCC-KU), the U.S. Army’s Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Air Force 386th Expeditionary Wing. This event was done in collaboration with AmCham Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Oman and Qatar; sponsored by AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman’s Club Member – Venice.

 

 

The event started with the opening remarks by AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman- Mr. Pete Swift, followed by opening remarks from the event’s sponsor, Venice represented by Mr. Tom Deren, Vice President for the Middle East.

 

 

Major Eric Forcey, Contracting Officer and Ms. Nancy Segarra, Procurement Analyst from the Regional Contracting Center –Kuwait (RCC-KU) opened the webinar by covering the following topics: why should companies do business with the U.S. Federal government, what RCC-KU does, what do they buy, how to read solicitations & contracts, which systems do companies need to register in, how to respond to opportunities, government expectations for contractors, common errors which cause rejected invoices, and how to get a positive past performance. The presenters highly encouraged vendors to do business with the U.S. Federal government and highlighted that there were several opportunities available, as they stated that during 2021, RCC-KU spent over $41 Million. The RCC-KU spoke about routine purchases which included commodities and services, as these are something that they often seek.

 

 

Technical Sergeant Sheba-Mary Wynn, Infrastructure Flight Chief and Staff Sergeant Michael Roybal, Contracting Officer representing 386th ECONS, spoke about their role and the teams which provide the U.S. government support: construction, services, commodities, Government Purchase Card (GPC) team, as these provide numerous opportunities to local vendors. One important aspect to note is that when the purchasing team sends out direct emails to vendors, they will always come from a .mil or a .gov domain; therefore, they asked that vendors pay attention to avoid being scammed. The presenters also highlighted that companies do not necessarily have to be registered in SAM, as there are smaller purchases done by the GPC team on the spot. These purchases must not exceed 9,800 KWD and construction purchases are limited to 600 KWD.

 

 

Ms. Yvette Walker, the Contracting Chief of the Expeditionary District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, highlighted that they are one of the world’s largest public engineering design and construction management agencies. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a large military construction program; however, they also support disaster relief efforts by responding to national and global disasters by providing engineering, contingency planning, and construction support capabilities.  Ms. Walker also spoke about current and upcoming opportunities with the Expeditionary District to support efforts in Kuwait and in Iraq, as they are currently soliciting for specific projects which can be found in SAM.  Capabilities can be sent to her team directly.

 

The presentations concluded with a Q&A followed by a one-hour workshop on ‘How to do Business with the U.S. Military from a Contractor’s perspective’ with AmCham Bahrain’s speaker, Mr. Michael Sedge partner at Relyant Global Company.

 

 

To conclude, the presenters ensured that vendors understood that having no previous experience does not disqualify them from doing contracts with them. They also encourage companies to collaborate in scopes in which one cannot fulfill certain capabilities.

 

 

The U.S. Military works carefully to meet the needs of its customers, while ensuring that contractors receive impartial, fair, and equitable treatment.

 

 

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 interests in the state of Kuwait. For More Information, please visit our website at www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on social media channels at @abck1985

Arab Times

Kuwait Time


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