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

Networking Across Borders

 

September 8, 2021: The American Business Council (ABCK) – AmCham Kuwait, AmCham Abu Dhabi, AmCham Bahrain, AmCham Dubai, AmCham Oman, and AmCham Qatar held their quarterly virtual speed networking event, to foster new relationships throughout the network of American Chambers of Commerce in the GCC region.

 

 

The GCC networking event facilitated fast-moving networking sessions for business owners and executives. Attendees were placed into rooms with a few other individuals, and each attendee got to interact with several professionals in the State of Kuwait as well as all throughout the GCC, and they shared their business profiles with other attendees.

 

At the end of the event, AmCham Kuwait held a raffle for its members, and they thanked the following Member companies who sponsored the raffle gifts, for their generous contributions to making this event a great success: The Sultan Center, SADITA Holding, and Choices Food Co.

 

 

The American Chambers of Commerce in the GCC represent more than 10000 member companies and millions of dollars of foreign investment in the State of Kuwait and throughout the GCC. They are the go-to organizations in the country for anything US trade-related.

 

As AmCham Kuwait, we are devoted to supporting the development of commercial relations between Kuwait and the United States, but 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 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 Data Loss Protection, Cybersecurity, and Best Practices in Kuwait

 

FOR IMMEDITATE RELEASE

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait’s Data Loss Protection, Cybersecurity, and Best Practices in Kuwait

 

June 30, 2021. The ABCK-AmCham Kuwait held a ‘Data Loss Protection (DLP), Cybersecurity, and Best Practices in Kuwait’ panel discussion, with the support of the Communication & Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA) and the U.S. – Kuwait Business Council. The panelists for this discussion included Mohammad Altura -Chief, Market Regulations & Competition at CITRA, Vivek Joshi – Deputy Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, Alain Sanchez – EMEA CISO at Fortinet, Majd Abbar – National Technology Officer at Microsoft, Ayed Al Qartah, M.Sc. – Technical Solutions Architect at CISCO, Faisal M. AlAli- Enterprise Risk Management Manager at Zain. The discussion was moderated by Dana Winner, M.Sc. – Cybersecurity Policy & Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP).

 

In his opening statements, ABCK- AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman, Frank Belonus welcomed the panelists and moderator and gave a special thanks to CITRA, the U.S. Embassy of Kuwait, and the U.S.-Kuwait Business Council for their support. He then introduced Dana Winner as the moderator for this discussion.

 

Winner introduced the topic by talking about the statistics on data breaches between August 2019, and April 2020, as the average cost of data breaches was estimated at 4 million USD in the U.S., in which healthcare data breaches cost more than 7 million dollars per breach, making Cyber-attacks a major costly issue. The core principles of cybersecurity are confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA). She stated that the purpose of this discussion was to create a better understanding of the subject of DLP, how it is related to cybersecurity, and details on how to better respond to threats and strengthen our vulnerabilities, especially in Kuwait.

 

Winner started the discussion by asking panelists about the entity responsible for DLP and Cybersecurity on a Macro and Micro level. Sanchez stated that we all have a global responsibility to imagine, design, maintain, and communicate cybersecurity to keep crucial assets safe. Cybersecurity is now more than technology; it is a mission that is to make our hyper-connected world a safer place. He added that in the past there was a department essentially in charge of cybersecurity, but this scope has now expanded. Joshi agreed and said that every incident begins with an individual; therefore, the responsibility falls on both the collective and the individual. According to Altura, the government is responsible for building awareness and ensuring an understanding of the risks that cyber-attacks pose to nations. He said that trends are happening at this time regarding national cyber-strategies, especially in building awareness. The government’s IT infrastructure is incredibly critical to building resilience and better protection for the nation. Abbar built upon this comment by proving a corporate approach, stating that the entity responsible is the one in the organization that can best propose recommendations to the security department, to ensure that red flags and hints do not go unattended. Al Qartah stated that cybersecurity breaches heavily affect the reputation of organizations, and cause major financial loss, and have multiple negative effects which can truly damage companies. He advised participants to be wary of different types of attacks as they evolve, for example, phishing attacks combined with social engineering are often used to compromise systems. AlAli finalized this question by stating that it is the responsibility of every single person however the main responsibility falls upon the CISO or the cybersecurity department, as it is their responsibility to enable the company employees to have the tools and awareness to fight off cyber-threats and protect crucial assets better.

 

Winner asked the panelists whether there is a specific budget that companies follow for cybersecurity and DLP. Joshi noted that the budget is inversely proportional to the amount of education and awareness. Higher awareness = Less budget as it has a direct economic impact in terms of how much an organization would be required to spend on cybersecurity. Altura spoke about the digital transformation hype happening in the industry, which reduces the cost of running IT within the organization, by using providers for secure cloud solutions. He mentioned that these providers can take on the cost of infrastructure as they already provide this, so the budget need for this infrastructure will be reduced. By using cloud computing to secure data, the customer can focus on the core business as the provider is mostly responsible for the security aspects of the cloud. Abbar mentioned by using cloud solutions, the responsibility becomes shared, but a large portion goes to the provider instead of the customer, he mentioned that the budget for this goes from 2% to 15% percent based on the organization’s needs. According to Al Qartah, the more regulated the organization the higher the cost that they must pay if they have a breach. Organizations must know where data is always stored by doing a data classification process, which is a continuous journey. AlAli also discussed that in his point of view, being a hybrid (cloud and on-premises) is most effective because in the case that companies input all their information on the cloud, and a country decides to issue a law in which all customer data must be in the country, it will be incredibly costly to bring all the data back into the server. Sanchez advises cybersecurity offices to present scenarios to not make the decision alone in order to involve the entire C-Suite.  Instead present the scenario to the clients, the partners, and stakeholders, so that everyone has a voice, and all agree to go at a specific level of risk and investment, to make a collective and informed decision.

 

Winner finalized the discussion by talking about the colonial pipeline shutdown caused by ransomware, and the breach on the solar winds supply chain breach. She asked panelists where we must assume that we will be breached and what should be our response if we are at that risk. Abbar mentioned that there is a 0-trust policy that is not a matter of if but when you will be a breach, how to detect it and how to recover from it, we must strengthen the international rules to ensure there are laws to deal with these attackers as one of the crucial steps. Al Qartah stated that we cannot rely on conventional security for attacks like that previously mentioned, we need to start with changing the rules of engagement, so we need to ensure that the environment is hardened, by increasing visibility, threat hunting, and 0-trust model to ensure that excessive trust that is given to network management tools is risky if it is being used by an adversary. Al Faisal spoke about the methodology of assessing the data, classifying the data, encryption, and masking, he says even though it is a matter of time to get breached, we want to make it harder for hackers to get the data if we follow a good methodology of encryption for critical data. Sanchez says that by educating your people whether they have the technical knowledge or not, you are raising the levels of cybersecurity in your company, along with using methods such as encryption, and authentication for passwords. Joshi said that quickly disseminating information on threats is incredibly important as is learning from mistakes from others. Altura agreed that learning from mistakes is incredibly important, by having organizations being more transparent about their breaches, others can learn how to protect themselves better, and this can be of great service to the rest of the world. Countries should implement transparency laws to help companies protect themselves through information sharing.

 

Winner closed the discussion by offering the audience the support of AmCham Kuwait, in order to support data protection in Kuwait. She thanked the panel for their crucial input, and she mentioned that the meeting was recorded and can be found on AmCham Kuwait’s YouTube.

 

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait: Is a non-profit organization operating since 1985 and is composed of 500 corporations, small and medium-sized companies, as well as 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 at @abck1985.

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Elects the new Board of Directors’ Officers for 2021

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait Elects the new Board of Directors’ Officers for 2021

 

June 7, 2021: ABCK-AmCham Kuwait held its first Board Meeting post-elections for 2021. The meeting called for the Board of Directors’ members to elect the new Officers of the Board.

 

 

The ABCK-AmCham Kuwait has announced that results for the Officers Elections as follows: Frank Belonus was elected as the Chairman of the Board, Pete Swift was elected as the Vice-Chairman of the Board, Amit Arora was elected as the Treasurer of the Board, and Omar Dirani was elected as the Secretary of the Board. The Officers of the Board are elected on a yearly basis, and Board of Director positions have a tenure of 3 years.

 

The following Board Members were elected by the Chairman of the Board to Chair AmCham Kuwait’s Committees, as per the by-laws: Membership – Akram Kamal, Programs & Events- Rachad Abdallah, Policy & Strategic – Rashed Almanee, Nominating & Elections – Pete Swift.

 

The following AmCham Kuwait Members were elected to Chair AmCham Kuwait’s Focus Groups:

 

Banking & Finance (BF) : Chair- Amit Arora (EY), Defense, Safety & Security ( DSS) : Chair- Bob Bailey (Boeing), Education : Chair- Sam Jauhari (GFT), Energy: Chair- Fred Shuaibi (Honorary Member), Food & Beverage (FB): Chair- Akram Kamal (Del Monte), Healthcare: Chair- Tamer El Sallab (Viatris), Hospitality, Travel & Tourism (HTT): Chair- Mohamed Najia (Individual Member), Human Resources (HR): Chair- Angela Carrigan (Honeywell), IT/Cyber-Security (ITC): Chair- Alaeddine Karim (Microsoft), Knowledge Economy (KE): Co-Chairs Dr. Arezou Harraf (Learn & Evolve), Dana Winner (Individual Member), Legal: Chair- Philip Kotsis (Al Tamimi & Company), Logistics : Chair- Pete Swift (Individual Member) and Women in Business ( WIB): Chair- Dr. Arezou Harraf ( Learn & Evolve).

 

Current Board Members of AmCham Kuwait: Frank Belonus -Chairman of the Board (Individual Member), Pete Swift-Vice-Chairman of the Board (Individual Member), Amit Arora- Treasurer of the Board (EY), Omar Dirani- Secretary of the Board (Fluor), Akram Kamal  (Del Monte), Alaeddine Karim (Microsoft), Dr. Arezou Harraf ( Learn & Evolve), Fatah Adour ( Citi Bank), Khadija Ouabala (The Sultan Center), Rachad Abdallah ( Honeywell), Robert Bailey (Boeing), Sam Jauhari ( GFT), Tamer El Sallab ( Viatris), Dr. Arezou Harraf ( Learn & Evolve), Omar Ben Naji ( Everyware Pro), Rashed Almanee (Individual Member).

 

Ex-Officio Board Members: Shari Stout (U.S. Embassy of Kuwait), Paola de la Roche (ABCK-AmCham Kuwait)

 

The ABCK-AmCham Kuwait looks forward to another successful year with its Board of Directors, as they bring forward their expertise and insights to the Chamber. The Board of Directors ensures that a broad range of industries and expertise is strongly represented through AmCham Kuwait’s activities and initiatives.

 

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait: Is a non-profit organization operating since 1985 and is composed of more than 600 members from corporations, small and medium sized companies, prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs that are both American and Kuwaiti. ABCK-AmCham Kuwait acts as an advocate for American business 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

Kuwait B2B Inter-Council Speed Networking Event

 

June 3, 2021: ABCK-AmCham Kuwait, Australian Business Group Kuwait, British Business Forum Kuwait, Canadian Business Council, German Business Council- Kuwait, and Portuguese Business Council – Kuwait held their first 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 Inter-Council Networking event facilitated fast-moving networking sessions for business owners and executives. Attendees were placed into rooms with a few other individuals, and each attendee got to interact with several professionals in the State of Kuwait, as they shared their own business profiles with other attendees.

The Councils/Forums and Chambers represent together over 1,000 member companies and millions of dollars of foreign investment in the State of Kuwait. They are the go-to organizations in the country for anything trade-related.

 

As partners for their respective countries, the Councils and Chambers are devoted to supporting the development of commercial relations between Kuwait and their representative countries, but 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