ABCK Ramadan Iftar 2019

For Immediate Release. Kuwait 21 May 2019

American Business Council Kuwait hosts Annual Iftar Dinner

The American Business Council Kuwait– AmCham Kuwait (ABCK) hosted its annual Ramadan Iftar at the Four Seasons Hotel, on Tuesday, May 21st sponsored by Boeing Middle East. The event welcomed members of The Kuwait Disabled Sports Club whose worldwide achievements were recognized.

In his opening speech, ABCK’s Vice Chairman Mr.Fred Shuaibi, thanked all present and Boeing for being a strong supporter of American Business Council in Kuwait.

“The President of the United States recently said ´ Ramadan is the time of charity, of giving and service to fellow citizens. It is a time to draw closer as families, neighbors and communities” and it is in this spirit that the American Business Council -Kuwait host tonight’s iftar with our friends and neighbors of Kuwait. We are honored and privileged to have Ambassador Lawrence Silverman, the U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait and Mr. Shafi Al Hajeri, the Chairman of the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club with us today. We are also proud to host the club members and amazing athletes that have achieved so much this year1 We sincerely thank Mr. Bernard Dunn and all those at Boeing for sponsoring this wonderful iftar for all of us. ABCK wished all Ramadan Kareem.

 Ambassador Silverman added: ´ Ramadan highlights the strong community sprit within Kuwait. I have enjoyed attending many iftars, diwaniyas, and ghabgas over the past two weeks. I would like thank ABCK for organizing this iftar and Boeing for sponsoring. ABCK has had an active calendar of events over the past several months and the Embassy looks forward to partnering with ABCK on a terrific line -up of events beginning again in the fall, to help contribute to the growth of the US-Kuwait bilateral trade and investment relationship”

 Bernard Dunn, president of Boeing Middle East, Africa and Turkey, shared some words with the attendees: “Ramadan Kareem to our Kuwaiti partners. We are proud of the work we have achieved together over the past 50 years. Tonight serves as a reminder that kindness, understanding and respect are fundamental pillars to the betterment of any community and that each of us has an important part to play in the country’s development.”

  

This year’s iftar event welcomed a total of 100 people who are ABCK members, executives, athletes from the Kuwaiti Disabled Sports Club, and distinguished guests. Kuwait Disabled Sports Club Chairman Mr.Shafi emphasized on the importance of human: ‘’ Friendship, collaborations and charity are the three magic human values. We must work hard to enhance them to lead us to a better world’”

ABCK has been promoting American business interest for almost 35 years by supporting its members and advocating trade growth between the USA and the State of Kuwait while continuing to promote understanding between two cultures and bringing the community together.

ABCK BOD Election Night 2019

The American Business Council Kuwait– AmCham Kuwait held its Board of Directors Election Night on Friday, May 3rd at The United States Embassy in Kuwait, in attendance of 80 ABCK Members and Non-Members.

 

In his opening statements, ABCK’s Chairman Oswaldo Rueda thanked the guests for being there, and he thank the current Board of Directors (BOD) for their work towards ABCK, and he gave his best wishes to the new running candidates. Then, he introduced the Ambassador- H.E. Lawrence Silverman. Ambassador Silverman thanked ABCK’s Chairman for his remarks, and then praised ABCK as an organization for the achievements in advocacy for American corporations and corporations with American interest, as well as the current BOD for their contribution to the organization.

 

The Vice-chairman Fred Shuaibi then went on to the podium in order to explain how the voting and the ballots worked, and then he introduced each of the candidate as each of them gave their speech on why they should be part of the BOD and what each would be contributing to ABCK. The running candidates were AIG MEA Limited, Equate Petrochemical Company, Fluor, Marafie Kuwaitia, Honeywell, Alghanim Cadillac, Raytheon, Boeing Aerospace, and Gulf Facilities Trading & Contracting (GFT).

 

Once the speeches were finalized, ABCK’s Chairman took the time to recognize the event’s sponsors: Cisco, Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, and Marafie Kuwaitia, as well as Embassy staff: Senior Commercial Officer- Jeff Hamilton, and Budget Analyst- Irma Tongol, who have strongly supported ABCK throughout the years.

 

Corporate and Individual Members casted their votes into the Ballot Box, and the event was resumed with a buffet dinner sponsored by Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, followed by live entertainment from Jamstart.


ABCK Speaker Series – April 2019

The American Business Council Kuwait– AmCham Kuwait held its April Speaker Series on 50 Ways to Fight Bias on Tuesday, April 23rd, at Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, in attendance of 30 ABCK Members and Non-Members.

In his opening statements, ABCK’s Chairman Oswaldo Rueda thanked the guests for attending then introduced ABCK’s guest speaker- Lieutenant Colonel Melody Mitchell, Regional Leader and Founder of Lean In Kuwait, an initiative created to support every gender in order for them to pursue their dreams without bias or other barriers that could interfere with their goals.

Lt. Col. Mitchell initiated the workshop as she explained that this activity would help individuals confront gender bias at work, as she would be providing concrete steps to address different forms of bias. In her workshop she provided an explanation for 6 types of biases: Likeability, Performance, Maternal, Attribution, Affinity, and Double Discriminatory & Intersectionality biases.

It was an interactive session where the attendees had the chance to debate among each other followed by filling out commitment cards with an action to confront any type of bias. Workshop concluded with a group photo of the attendees.

Mr. Rueda then thanked Lt. Col. Mitchell for her workshop and called on to ABCK’s Executive Director- Mrs. Esra Cavdarli Menke, and Vice Chair- Fred Shuaibi to recognize and thank the Lieutenant Colonel for her contribution to ABCK.


Guests then enjoyed a fabulous buffet and networking.

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.