Ambassador Awadhi keen to take India-Kuwait relations to new heights
Destiny had something else in store for Kuwait's Ambassador to India H.E. Fahad Ahmad Mohammad Al-Awadhi when he returned home after graduating with a degree in Economics and Business Administration from the United States. Soon after arriving back in Kuwait and with dreams of contributing to the economic resurrection of his country, Ambassador Awadhi, unlike many of his countrymen, took an assignment in the private sector, “I worked for more than a year in the private sector” recalls the ambassador “but my father had other ideas. He kept urging me to join the government where, he said, I could make similar contribution. Convinced with the merit of his argument. I ultimately yielded to his advice and joined the diplomatic service and here I am sitting today with you,” the ambassador said with a smile.
Today, the envoy says he is proud to have followed his father’s advice. “I have enjoyed every moment of my career in diplomacy; its challenges, its changing idioms, meeting people, understanding new places, and new history.”
Urbane, suave, and extremely humble, Ambassador Awadhi leaves an indelible imprint on anyone who meets him. His courteous behavior and his readiness to help anyone in need has attracted attention from all quarters of the Indian capital. It is probably the economist in him that prompts him to make good social investments.
Leaving his cushy job in the private sector in1982, he joined the Foreign Ministry with his first posting as Diplomatic Attache in the Department of Administration and Finance and within a year was promoted to the rank of Third Secretary.
In 1985 he was transferred to the Embassy of Kuwait in Libya and was then elevated to the rank of Second Secretary in 1987. After a successful stint in Tripoli, the envoy was transferred to the General Diwani in1989 and took assignment in the Department of Asia and Africa.
Promoted as First Secretary in 1993, he served two stints at the Embassy of Kuwait in Zimbabwe and then in South Africa before his promotion as Counselor in 1997.
An Amiri decree appointed him as Charge d Affaires to the Kuwait Embassy in Sudan in 2000 and he was elevated as Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Sudan through an Amiri order in 2002.
In 2005, he took over as Ambassador of Kuwait to Syria and was later appointed as Kuwait's Ambassador to Tunisia in 2009 before his new assignment to India. Ambassador Awadhi presented his credentials to President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 13 November, 2015. During the presentation ceremony held at the majestic presidential palace, the Indian President asked the new Kuwaiti Ambassador to convey his greetings to H.H. the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and wished the Kuwaiti people progress and success. President Mukherjee also recalled the visit of the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to India in 2006 and the visit of the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah saying that those visits helped to further cement the ties between Kuwait and India.
The President also pointed out to the robust trade ties between the two sides which touched US$14 billion last year while expressing his hope that Ambassador Fahad Al-Awadhi would help to further strengthen cooperation with the Indian government to achieve goals which will serve the interests of the peoples in both the friendly countries.
“India and Kuwait have shared a long history of friendly relations and that is manifested with the way the huge Indian expatriates are partnering the progress of Kuwait,” the Ambassador said . He added that trade links between Kuwait and India are centuries old and are getting stronger due to significant imports and exports of crude oil and other commodities. Up to 10 percent of Indian oil demand is supplied by Kuwait.
“I would like to see more of Kuwait-Indian partnerships in all fields of business." Ambassador Awadhi said that the initiative of NAPESCO (Kuwait), the first private sector to start business in India in the Oil and Gas sector, could utilize the manpower and technical skills of India. He added that investments from Kuwait have great potential and should be encouraged in future and "it is a good step forward for the oil and gas industries as their demands are always on the rise.”
It is here that the economist in the ambassador takes over. “India is emerging as a strong economic force and valuable market and Kuwait could play a significant role in this direction. There are so many areas to work up so that we can increase the trade component to a higher level. “Our relationship exists on mutual trust that has developed over the years and we have to take it forward”.
“The India - Kuwait joint commission would meet soon; we are working on the dates and modalities and I am sure we will make significant gains,” the ambassador revealed, adding, “The last visit of H.E. the Prime Minister had not only set the agenda but the momentum of the growth.”
Ambassador Awadhi is happy over the increase of tourist traffic from Kuwait to India and hopes that private players from Kuwait and entrepreneurs would also look towards India for investment and business. “I am confident that we will take it further,” he said.
Happily married with five children, Ambassador Awadhi was a keen football player in his youth, a game that he still loves. “But these days, I have developed sudden liking for motor bikes and love to ride the Bullet,” he added.
We hope the finer nuances of economic strategy and skills of diplomacy would make a wonderful combination that will propel Ambassador Awadhi to script a new chapter in the India - Kuwait relations as never before.
SA H Rizvi