ABCK’s 34th Annual Gala 2019

The American Business Council Kuwait– AmCham Kuwait held its 34th Annual Gala on Friday, March 22nd, at the U.S. Embassy, in attendance of 130 members and their guests who wished to celebrate together with ABCK for their accomplishments throughout the past year.

In her opening statements, ABCK’s MC-Ms. Claire Hayden from LivinQ8, thanked guests for their attendance. Ms. Hayden then introduced the 34 Infantry Division “Red Bull” Band, from the U.S. Military who then played the U.S. national anthem followed by the Kuwait national anthem. Ms. Hayden thanked the band and then introduced ABCK’s Chairman Oswaldo Rueda who thanked the guests for being there and he spoke about the role that ABCK has had in being an advocate for American corporations in Kuwait, as well as connecting Kuwaiti corporations with American interest to several industries, with the help of the U.S. Embassy.

Mr. Rueda then introduced H.E. Ambassador Lawrence Silverman, who thanked ABCK for their great contribution throughout the past years, and the future plans for further collaboration between the U.S. Government and Kuwait. He made remarks regarding the steps that both governments are taking in order to make a more collaborative and positive relationship between Kuwait and the U.S., as well as organizations that are currently working to aid American interest in Kuwait.

 

Ms. Hayden thanked the Ambassador for his speech, and then called on to ABCK’s Executive Director- Mrs. Esra Cavdarli Menke, and Mr. Rueda in order to recognize our sponsors. ABCK’s Gold Sponsors for the 34th Annual Gala were: Gulf Facilities Trading & Contracting (GFT), represented by Mr. Sam Jauhari, Gulf Agency Company (GAC), represented by Mr. Filip Bjorklund, IFA International Travel and Tourism, represented by Mr. Ayman Sawires, Al Mulla Exchange, represented by Mr. Praveen Singh, Raytheon, represented by Mr. Gary Menke, and Four Seasons, represented by Mr. Didier Jardin. Finally, the Executive Director recognized ABCK’s Airline Partner- Emirates who provided two Business Class tickets from Kuwait to Dubai.


After the recognition of the sponsors, dinner started to be served and the live entertainment was resumed. To finalize, ABCK’s staff gathered ABCK’s Chairman, Vice Chairman, Executive Director, and Board members around the podium, in order to conclude the event with ABCK’s 34th Annual Gala cake cutting ceremony.

ABCK Speaker Series – March 2019

The American Business Council Kuwait– AmCham Kuwait held the March Speaker Series and General Meeting on the 12th of March at the Holiday Inn Salmiya Hotel, in attendance of 20 members and non-members who had interest in learning about Kuwait’s future and current business environment. ABCK invited Mr. Mohammad Yousef Yaqoub from KDIPA.

In his opening statements, ABCK’s Vice-Chairman Mr. Fred Shuaibi thanked the members and non-members for being present and for their constant support. After, the Vice-Chairman introduced ABCK’s guest speaker- Mr. Yaqoub. In his address, Mr. Yaqoub spoke about the new business opportunities in Kuwait, new developments, and Kuwait’s plan for 2035.


In his address, Mr. Yaqoub also explained the Kuwaiti government with KDIPA have been implementing methods to encourage foreign investment and more external markets to come to Kuwait, for example one of the methods that Mr. Yaqoub spoke about was that KDIPA has made it easier for organizations to register legally, as he explained that nowadays clients can come to KDIPA and register an organization in less than a month.

 

 

Mr. Yaqoub emphasized that knowledge transfer was needed for Kuwait’s future to keep evolving, and he stated that KDIPA is currently working in creating a knowledge center/technology center in order to tackle this challenge.

 

Mr. Yaqoub brought up a crucial reason regarding encouraging foreign investment in Kuwait. He stated that this will create more economic stability in the country, as every country within the region has been diversifying. Mr. Yaqoub explained that the first step that KDIPA has taken in order to create diverse markets, has been through opening the door for international companies by submitting the concept paper, so that if there is a possibility for companies to invest in Kuwait, and if there is a letter of intention from outside companies, KDIPA will then guide them through the rules of the sector, and they will aid them in opening a door for them within different sectors through information and guidance.

 

In the past, KDIPA’s focus was in 5 sectors: oil and gas, education, health care, construction, and ICT, since then they managed to get many international companies from different countries in these 5 sectors.

 

Mr. Yaqoub also noted that KDIPA believes that every company that goes to them should be able to have a different legal setup, as they work in different scales.

 

In his remarks, Mr. Yaqoub stated that KDIPA has been made responsible for the new commercial plots, so that they go through every project in order to understand how much investors will add as value for these areas. Moreover, he spoke briefly about the economic zones in which KDIPA together with the Kuwaiti government had been jointly working towards. The economic zones were said to be developed within 2-3 years, and there will be a total of three.

 

To finalize, ABCK’s Vice-Chairman and Executive Director recognized Mr. Yaqoub for his valuable informative session, and he was thanked for his contribution to the Speaker Series. The event concluded with networking where new and existing members had the chance to get to know each other.

 

ABCK’s Annual General Membership Meeting 2019

American Business Council – AmCham Kuwait held its Annual General Membership Meeting on the 12th of February at the Millenium Hotel, Kuwait in attendance of more than 50 members who are interested to be updated on past performance as well as its future plans.

In his opening statements, ABCK’s Chairman Mr. Oswaldo Rueda thanked the members and non-members for their constant contribution to the organization. After, the Chairman introduced Mr.Fred Shuabi, the Vice Chairman for ABCK who gave a briefing on the roadmap followed to adapt the new bylaws while Mr. Frank Belonus Chair for membership Committee, explained  step by step ,the new By-laws for the ABCK. Mr. Belonus also informed the members about the policies and the membership updates.


Mr. Oswaldo Rueda, Chairman, American Business Council Kuwait Mr. Fred Shuaibi, Vice Chair, American Business Council Kuwait
Mr. Frank Belonus, Chairman for Membership Committee

Mr.Alok Chugh , the treasurer for the organization presented the members with financial performance for 2018.


Mr. Alok Chugh, Treasurer, American Business Council Kuwait

The new bylaws were approved by a majority votes to be implemented 1 March 2019.

 

New Chairman’s Club members; GFT, Al Mulla Exchange, American International School, GAC and Cisco were recognized for their tremendous support to AmCham Kuwait.

 

The event concluded with networking where new and existing members had the chance to get to know each other’s businesses.

ABCK Speaker Series – January 2019

Speaker Series January 22nd, 2019

“National Cyber Security Strategy in Kuwait’s Economy”               

American Business Council Kuwait, AmCham, has hosted its first monthly speaker series of 2019 at Four Seasons Hotel Burj Al Shaya on Mr. Mohammad Altura, Chief of IT for Communications Information Technology Regulatory Authority( CITRA) was the guest speaker for the event on Tuesday January 22nd of 2019.

 

The event kicked off with a networking reception followed by the remarks given by Vice Chairman Mr. Fred Shuaibi. Mr. Shuaibi has greeted all the distinguished members and specially acknowledged the recently joined Chairman’s Club Members; Al Mulla Exchange, Cisco, Zain, Warba Insurance and thanked them for their support to the organization.

Mr. Fred Shuaibi – Vice Chair, American Business Council Kuwait 

 

Mr. Mohammad Altura, Chief of IT for Communications Information Technology Regulatory Authority( CITRA)

Vice Chair invited the guest speaker on the floor for his presentation on the national cyber security strategy of Kuwait. Mr. Altura commented:

~According to the Global Risks Report 2018 provided by the World Economic Forum, Technological Security issues have increased in a large scale ‘’

Some of the topics addressed by Mr. Mohammad Altura were the adverse consequences of technological advances, the breakdown of critical information infrastructure and networks. Large Scale cyber-attacks are causing large economic damages, geopolitical tensions and widespread loss of trust in the internet.

Mr.Altura added; ‘’The National Computer Systems (NCS) vision is to assure and secure a resilient cyber space to safeguard the national interests of Kuwait. Its mission is to establish and promote a national cyber security structure, including capacity development, technical, legal policies and process/admin. with all critical National Infrastructure (CNI) to secure Kuwait ‘’

NCS objectives are to promote a culture of cyber security that supports safe usage of cyberspace, to continuously maintain the security of national assets, and to promote the cooperation and information exchange among local and international bodies in cyber security.

The current challenges being faced are the lack of cyber security policies and governance, as well as the absence of the cyber security capacity.

Mr. Altura believes that some of the elements of success for cyber security are to develop policies, cyber security trained expertise and cyber security leadership and sponsorship.

ABCK’s members then enjoyed an interactive session with Mr. Altura with very insightful questions and answers from Mr. Altura.

 

Vice Chairman Mr. Shuaibi thanked Mr.Altura and presented an appreciation plague for his support.

 

Mr. Altura with ABCK Board Members. (From right)Mr. Scott Geiger, Sr. Program Manager, Raytheon Kuwait, Ms. Esra Cavdarli Menke, Executive Director, ABCK, Mr. Fred Shuaibi, Vice Chair, ABCK, Mr. Jeff Hamilton, Sr. Commercial Officer, U. S. Embassy, Mr. Frank Belonus, President & CEO, Flacon Desert International.

Evening concluded with dinner and more networking.

 

ABCK Christmas Party 2018


 

The American Business Council of Kuwait held their annual Christmas party on Friday, December 7th, at Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa.  Entertainment was provided by vocalist Alex Killham and the American International School(AIS) Jazz Band, led by Director of Arts, Dan Massoth. ABCK Chairman Oswaldo Rueda welcomed the sponsors, including Mr. Mohannad Barakat, Vice President of CitiBank, and recognized Chairman’s Club member Ms.Samira Al-Rayes of AIS and Corporate Member Mr.Savino Leone, General Manager of Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa for their support to the event.

 

               The event included a large buffet, children’s activities, a sing-along, and a surprise visit from Santa.  At the end of the party, a raffle draw took place, and great prizes were given away including round tickets by KLM.  It was a great start to the Christmas season, and the festivities were enjoyed by all who attended.

ABCK Thanksgiving Celebration 2018

For immediate release

14 November 2018, Kuwait City

 

ABCK celebration Thanksgiving 2018

 

American Business Council Kuwait-ABCK celebrated its Annual Thanksgiving Dinner in Kuwait on Tuesday, November 13th at the premises of the U.S Embassy.

 

 

The chairman of the board Mr. Oswaldo Rueda opened the ceremony by expressing gratitude for the opportunity of doing business in Kuwait where Americans feel safe, work and prosper.

 

 

ABCK’s guest of honor H.E Lawrence Silverman in his opening remarks stressed the importance of being grateful and express his gratitude especially to active military servicemen in attendance.

 

 

ABCK members, U.S. embassy officials, U.S. active military service men from the Airforce , the Marine Corps, and the veterans enjoyed an evening with a traditional all American Thanksgiving dinner catered by corporate member Jumeirah Messilah Hotel and Spa . Guests enjoyed the soft jazz tunes of Arabiska Band.

The event was made possible thanks to a number of Corporate Member sponsors including AIG, Equate, Marafie and KLM.

 


 

The Thanksgiving program included the live performance of U.S. National anthem by Ms. McLain Rose and the turkey cutting ceremony by the U.S Ambassador and ABCK’ Chairman.

 



130 guests had the opportunity to participate in a raffle with amazing prizes to include a round-trip ticket to any destination in the USA and another to Europe by KLM, a Spa experience at Mirror Mirror, dinner and lunch voucher from Jumeirah Hotel and 2 free entries to any ABCK’ signature event.


 

 

 

 

ABCK Speaker Series – October 2018

October 30th, 2018

Kuwait City

For Immediate Release

 

The American Business Council of Kuwait (ABCK) hosted its second Speaker Series of the season, welcoming Lieutenant Colonel (LTC.) Paul A. Tomcik, Commander of the Regional Contracting Center of Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. This month’s Speaker Series gathered over 50 members and guests representing different multinational and local companies who were interested in obtaining in-depth understanding of contracting requirements with the United States Government.


ABCK Chairman, Mr. Oswaldo Rueda

In his opening statement, ABCK’s Chairman, Mr. Oswaldo Rueda introduced the guest speaker LTC. Tomcik, and the event’s sponsor, AIG represented by its CEO for Kuwait, Mr.Joseph Bejjani.

 

The chairman then thanked the members and guests for being present. Followed by the speaker, Ltc. Tomcik’s presentation on how to do contracting with the United States Army in Kuwait. In this presentation, the speaker explained the purpose of the Regional Contracting Center- Kuwait (RCC- KU), and explained the buying interest of the RCC-KU such as commodities, services, and minor construction.

 

LTC. Tomcik described the necessary steps for organizations to qualify for bids and the necessary registrations that organizations need to complete to become eligible. The speaker explained where organizations could find contracting opportunities, as well as how to respond to these opportunities.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul A. Tomcik

In his closing remarks, LTC. Tomcik emphasized the government’s expectations of the contractors and emphasized the importance of DBA insurance to successfully qualify for these bids.

Mr. Oswaldo Rueda, ABCK Chairman,  LTC Tomcik & Mrs. Esra Cavdarli Menke, Executive Director, ABCK

 

The meeting concluded with a presenting recognition, and afterward with a raffle, in which the winners were given 2 vouchers for two for a BBQ on Wednesdays, and 2 vouchers for two for a breakfast buffet at the Radisson Blu Hotel, in Salwa.

 

 AIG is a US based multinational insurance company, and they are the main source for DBA insurance. To obtain more information regarding AIG’s insurance plans please go to www.AIG.com.

BF6 Summit 2018

Kuwait

 

14 October 2018

 

 Following the success of the first BF6 networking event, held in April last year, the six Business Councils, the German Business Council Kuwait (GBCK), American Business Council Kuwait (ABCK), British Business Forum (BBF), French Business Council Kuwait (FBCK), the Australian Business Group (AusBG), and the        Canadian Business Council (CBC), with the presence of HE Mrs. Hind Al Sabeeh minister of social affairs and labor hosted over 400 members and guests representing over 75 companies, in the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre.

 

 

The panel, consisting of the ambassadors representing the countries of each Business Council, included German Ambassador Mr. Karlfried Bergner, Austrian Ambassador Dr. Sigurd Pacher, Swiss Ambassador Benedict Gubler, US Ambassador Lawrence Silverman, UK Ambassador Michael Davenport, French Ambassador Marie Masdupuy, Australian Ambassador Jonathan Gilbert and Canadian Ambassador Louis-Pierre Emond and answered questions from the members of the Business Councils on “Working in Kuwait”.

 

 

The various topics included: Kuwait Vision 2035 and areas of opportunities for foreign companies, Contracting in Kuwait, Employment Legislation, and the available support structures that may help foreign companies operating in Kuwait.

The event was possible due to the support of the sponsors Lufthansa, Kuwait Banking Association, NBK, KPMG, Siemens, Al Tamimi & Co and the Four Seasons, as well as the Business Councils working closely together to host this event.  

For more information about the event and BF6, contact any of the six Business Councils.

 

Back to Business 2018

Kuwait City, September 25, 2018

 

American Business Council is back to Business at full speed.

 

Members of the American business community held a successful meeting to kick start a busy year at the Four Seasons Hotel Burj Al Shaya. Chairman of the Board for the American Business Council (ABCK) Mr.Oswaldo Rueda addressed the distinguished guests, “Welcome to our Annual Back to Business Networking Meeting and a special welcome to our Ambassador H.E Lawrence H. Silverman this evening’”. Mr. Rueda talked about the expansion plans for the business council while highlighting the major achievements in the past. ”We have a new board in place whose focus is to revamp the benefits we offer to our business community through our membership. Our mission is to become the most recognized business council in the region.”

Mr. Oswaldo Rueda,

Chairman, American Business Council Kuwait

 

Rueda then called on the stage Mr. Silverman, U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait, for his address to the members of the community. Ambassador Silverman briefed the guests on the recent visit of the Amir to Washington on September 6 where he met with President Trump and also held a roundtable with the CEOs of leading U.S. companies.

 

Ambassador Silverman said, “The Amir’s message to the CEOs was simple.  Kuwait has a lot of development projects in process and they need the support of international companies to successfully complete these projects.  He asked for U.S. firms to actively participate as Kuwait looks to utilize the latest, most effective technologies to develop new cities, new roads, a new university, improve its power system and its airport, expand oil exploration and build new petrochemical facilities and hospitals, develop the islands off the northern coast of Kuwait, and improve defense and cyber capabilities.  Our Embassy will continue to promote these opportunities to U.S. businesses and work with the Kuwaiti government to ensure that U.S. companies have a fair and equal opportunity to win these government contracts.”

 

He added that the U.S. Embassy is now working hard on the upcoming 3rd Strategic Dialogue, which is an annual government to government forum chaired by the Secretary of State and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss different areas of cooperation within the bilateral relationship. 

 

Ambassador Silverman added that United States encouraged Kuwait to sign on to the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, which they did earlier this year.  Once fully implemented this should result in a significant savings for U.S. exporters as processes are streamlined, goods clear customs more quickly, with more clear and accessible export and import regulations, increased automation, and a harmonization of processes and standards.

H.E.  Lawrence R. Silverman, U. S. Ambassador to Kuwait

 

In 2017 U.S. exports to Kuwait reached an all-time high, and for the first-time ever the United States had a trade surplus with Kuwait.

Mr. Khaled Al Rashed, Francorp Kuwait

 

As the sole sponsor of this annual meeting, Francorp Kuwait CEO Mr. Khaled AL Rashed took the stage to present his company’s achievements in the past and its future plans.

ABCK Board Members with Ambassador H.E. Lawrence R. Silverman

 

Mr. Sam Jauhari (ABCK Board Member), Ms. Samira AlRayes (American International School), Ms. Esra Cavdarli Menke (Executive Director, ABCK), Mr. Didier Jardin (Four Seasons Hotel)

 

Guests enjoyed a buffet dinner and the chance to make new contacts within the American business community in Kuwait.

American Community of Kuwait

 

The American Business Council Kuwait(ABCK) is a non- profit organization that has been advocating for American business interests in the State of Kuwait since 1985.

 

Francorp Kuwait is a leading franchise consulting firm in the Middle East.

4th of July Celebration 2018

American Business Council Kuwait – ABCK hosted the Independence Day celebration this year at Jumeriah Messilah Beach Resort and Spa along with more than 300 participants. This year’s signature event brought to life by the major sponsors namely KGL and Raytheon who graciously landed their support to our troops by making this day possible.

The event kicked off with the beats of DJ T-Zone from Camp Arifjan followed up by the popular band JamStart. The American community in Kuwait and Kuwaiti citizens were among the guests.

ABCK’s guest of honour U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Ms.Patricia Fietz started the official ceremony with a remarkable speech after the national anthem sang by Ms.Mclain Rose of Ashville, North Carolina.

Among the other guests of honour for the night was Brigadier General Mark McCormack from Camp Arifjan who acknowledged the brave soldiers and thanked them for their services while extending his gratitude to the sponsors of the event and American Business Council.

“Some folks think that Christmas is a tough time to be deployed and away from home while serving our country….I feel that Independence Day is as well.  This is when our families are gathering back home for reunions, family time, vacations, our children are graduating from schools, our younger children are going away for the first time to camps…and we are not there to celebrate with them….events such as this, make us feel like we are doing our part to celebrate with them even if we are thousands of miles away,” said Brig. Gen. Mark McCormack, depute commanding general of support, 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan.

KGL’s Mr. Pete Swift, who is also a board member with ABCK, greeted the soldiers and extended his gratitude for their dedication and service to their country.

Raytheon’s Mr. Gary Menke thanked ABCK for organizing a great event and the opportunity to sponsor.ABCK’s Chairwoman Dr. Juliet Dinka and Executive Director Ms. Esra Cavdarli Menke acknowledged the sponsors KGL, Raytheon, GFT, Smash Events, Hayat Int, Marafia and Jumeriah Messilah Beach Resort and Spa.

Several ABCK board members were also in attendance at their premier community event of the year. Chair Dr Dinkha also thanked the ABCK Staff, Ms. Tessy Cabrera and Mr. Jenson Joy and all the volunteers who helped put another successful event into the ABCK history books.

“The board members of the ABCK know that our soldiers have been working hard with our ‘Every Soldier and Ambassador Program’ becoming more involved with the Kuwaiti community, through several NGOs, and this was their way of saying thanks to these soldiers,” said Amanda Harrah, civil affairs officer with the 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan.

“As deployed soldiers we likely carry a deeper understanding of what independence, freedom and family means.  ABCK recognizes this and gave us an opportunity to celebrate those things with them,” said Lt. Col. Keith Hickox, public affairs officer with 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan.

Event concluded with a cake cutting ceremony celebrating the 242nd Independence Day of the United States of America.American Business Council Kuwait is a non- profit organization who has been advocating American interest in the State of Kuwait since 1985. 

Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth, marks the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.