28 May, 2015: Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA), received an honoring award from IBM ME during the celebration it organized under the patronage of H.E. Minister of Commerce & Industry for the inauguration of its IBM office in Kuwait at Al Hashemi-II in Radisson Blu Hotel on May 25, 2015. The award was accorded to KDIPA for facilitating the issuance of the investment license, the first since KDIPA started its operations in 29 December 2014, to IBM to establish a 100% foreign owned Kuwait IBM, in accordance with the incentives and exemptions granted by Law No. 116 of 2013, regarding the Promotion of Direct Investment in the State of Kuwait. The celebration opening speech was given by Mr. Amr Refaat, General Manager, IBM ME & Pakistan, followed by the keynote speech of H.E. Dr. Yousef Al Ali, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Chairman of KDIPA’s Board of Directors, emphasizing the important role that IT plays in enhancing Kuwait’s economic diversification in view of its long term developmental vision 2035, referring to H.H. the Prime Minister of Kuwait support to such initiatives, as H.H. expressed upon meeting IBM delegation earlier in the day, while H.H. reiterated the importance of sustaining the current efforts to streamlining business environment in Kuwait to attract both local and foreign investments. The Minister concluded by lauding KDIPA’s role, in coordination with other relevant government entities, to address these aspirations in accordance with KDIPA’s stated goals and mandate. Dr. William R. La Fontaine, General Manager, Research & Intellectual Property, IBM Corporation, was the last speaker to address the audience by showcasing intended services that IBM Kuwait will offer especially to support Research & Development & Innovation (R&D&I) in the State of Kuwait, collaborate with existing R&D institutions, and engage in the provision of various IT services to support the strategic oil sector. The celebration concluded with showing a creative video that depicts Kuwait’s vision 2035 and its strategic goals, and how IBM Kuwait shall be committed to help realize this vision.