KDIPA partnered with the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and the US Chamber of Commerce to organize the “U.S-Kuwait Economic Forum” held on September 6, 2017 in Washington D.C. The forum, which is the first of its kind, aimed at highlighting the strength of bilateral economic and commercial relations and the pivotal role of the private sector in both countries to further their collaboration, as well as promoting a host of lucrative investment opportunities that portrayed Kuwait as a dynamic growth market, and which brought together a plethora of Kuwaiti and American officials and business people.
The forum opened with two welcoming remarks by Mr. Steve Lutes, Vice President, Middle East Affairs, at the US Chamber of Commerce; followed by Mr. Osama Al-Nisf, member of the Board Steering Committee at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Honorable Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of Commerce and His Excellency Anas Khalid Al-Saleh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance addressed the distinguished guests, highlighting that both sides were eager to further develop ties on numerous levels and especially within the economic, financial, and commercial domains.
The economic forum presented two panels that focused on showcasing the importance of investments and its developmental role in fostering Kuwait-US economic relations, for the forum audience of American and global businesses.
The first panel discussed strategic insights from the Kuwaiti government. The panelist consisted of KDIPA’s Director General Sheikh Dr. Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah; Mr. Nizar M. Al- Adsani, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC); Mr. Farouk A. Bastaki, Managing Director and Board Member of Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of KIA; and Mr. Fawaz Al-Mubaraki, Director, Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Investment Officer of Wafra, and an Executive Vice President and Head of the Alternative Investments Division.
The second panel addressed ‘Doing Business in Kuwait’ and was moderated by Ms. Wafa Ahmad Al-Qatami, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of KDIPA, and Member of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). The panelist included the following prominent business representatives from both Kuwait and the US: Mr. Nasser Musaed Al–Sayer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Kuwait and a member of the Kuwait Banking Association (KBA); Mr. Jay Collins, Vice Chairman, Corporate & Investment Banking, Citi Group; Ms. Henadi Anwar Al-Saleh, Chair of the Board of Directors of Agility; Ms. Roslyn Docktor, Director of Watson Health Policy and Middle East & Africa at IBM; Mr. Ahmad Abdullah Alzabin, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ALAFCO; as well as Dr. Merza Hasan, Executive Director and Dean of the Board of Executive Directors at the World Bank Group.
The forum concluded with practical steps to strengthen business collaboration between the two countries marked by the agreement signing between Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), represented by Mr. Nizar M. Al- Adsani, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), and The Dow Chemical Company, represented by Mr. James Fitterling, President & COO of Dow Chemical. Another signing of Principles of Cooperation took place between the Kuwaiti Ministry of Electricity and Water, represented by His Excellency Anas Khalid Al-Saleh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and General Electric International Inc., represented by Mr. Todd Smith, Vice President GE and Chief Financial Officer for Gas Power Systems at GE Power.
The forum was held ahead of the official visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s to Washington D.C. and coincided with the second round of the Kuwait – US strategic dialogue.