On July 16th and 17th of 2019, ABCK Vice Chairman Frank Belonus and Executive Director Esra Cavdarli Menke joined the AmCham’s of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman, along with several other dignitaries, in Abu Dhabi for a roundtable discussion with Mr. Myron Brilliant, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs, and several other prominent leaders of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Brilliant provided a broad overview of U.S. Chamber global focuses that included the US/Mexico/Canada NAFTA, tariffs, ongoing negotiations with China, an ongoing Africa initiative, ongoing political challenges in Washington DC, his recent meeting with President Sisi of Egypt, and other focuses of trade and investment around the world. Numerous regional issues and initiatives were also discussed, to include the restriction on KSA defense sales, potential AmCham involvement at next year’s World Expo in Dubai, proprietary information policies, and support for US expatriates and US companies’ interests.
The ABCK Vice Chairman and Executive Director also had the opportunity to discuss Kuwait specific issues with several leaders of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that included;
· Increased US and Kuwaiti awareness of ABCK being the AmCham for Kuwait.
· ABCK integration with the new US/Kuwait Chamber Committee forming in Washington DC, to include an invitation for ABCK to be part of inauguration meeting, with the Amir of Kuwait possibly attending, (tentative date is 9 Sept. 2019) in Washington D.C.
· Developing new avenues through U.S. Chamber for ABCK membership to articulate their concerns to multiple agencies of the U.S. government.
· Increased U.S. Chamber focus on Kuwait.
· Increased U.S. Chamber support for ABCK initiatives, events, and with the Kuwaiti government.
· Business and investment challenges faced in Kuwait by our membership.
· Development of a better U.S. business operating environment and supporting policies in Kuwait.
· Support for individual U.S. expatriates and U.S. business interests in Kuwait.
· The U.S. Chamber’s recognition of ABCK’s recent evolution, growth and relevance in Kuwait.
· ABCK’s regional involvement as part of the global network of American Chambers of Commerce.
In their opening remarks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce leadership highlighted ABCK and the significance of our presence at this meeting to them. The ABCK Vice Chairman said “it was an amazing opportunity to bring added value to ABCK and our membership, addressing Kuwait’s unique issues and concerns to U.S. leadership. It was great to hear the U.S. Chamber talk specifically about their renewed focus on, and efforts in Kuwait, and how ABCK is positioned to play a key role in their efforts. It was a wonderful opportunity for ABCK to increase our relevance nationally in both the U.S. and in Kuwait, setting the conditions for ABCK to do even more for our membership, and for U.S. business interests and investments in and with Kuwait in the near future!”