ABCK – AmCham Kuwait held its Back to Business Annual General Meeting event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – Kuwait with over 100 AmCham members and non-members in attendance, all of whom had an interest in learning about AmCham Kuwait’s overview since the beginning of the year. The event was done in collaboration with our Platinum Sponsor, Kuwait & Gulf Link (KGL), the Waldorf Astoria – Kuwait, and Air France-KLM.
The event began with opening remarks by AmCham’s vice-chair, Dr. Arezou Harraf who welcomed member companies and friends from across different industries in Kuwait and the GCC region to participate in this event. A special welcome was given to the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy, James Holtsnider, H.E. Ambassador Aliya Mawani. Members of the British Embassy and U.S. Embassy also attended.
AmCham’s vice-chair Dr. Harraf gave a snapshot of the organization’s activities over 2022 including the growth of 34% in the number of members in the last year.
AmCham Kuwait has increased its footprint in the region in the past year, especially across the GCC as they solidified this relationship with the other American Chambers of Commerce and signed an MoU which marked the crucial partnership that AmChams in the GCC have had since the beginning of covid. To finalize her opening remarks, Dr. Harraf recognized Pete Swift, Chairman of the Board at the American Chamber of Commerce – Kuwait, whose vision is crucial for the legacy that the Chamber is aiming for in Kuwait.
Dr. Harraf then introduced the guest of honor for the evening, James Holtsnider. Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy. Holtsnider thanked Dr. Harraf for her remarks and then praised AmCham Kuwait as an organization for its achievements in advocacy for American corporations and corporations with American interests. Holtsnider also promoted Select USA for foreign investors and entities interested in pursuing opportunities in the U.S. through a three-day conference in Washington D.C. The current Members were also graciously thanked for their contribution to the organization.
Paola de la Roche, Executive Director of AmCham Kuwait spoke about the organization’s achievements and increase of industries within the Chamber in detail, as she highlighted that the largest industries include Catering, Aerospace & Defense, Construction, Oil & Gas (energy), Hospitality, and Food & Beverage. She finalized the Membership updates by thanking the Chairman’s Club Members for their vital support throughout the past year as well as AmCham’s Corporate Members, Individual Members, and Small Enterprises who enable AmCham to thrive and continue supporting initiatives that will promote higher levels of business practices and ease of doing business in Kuwait.
The Back to Business meeting also included a presentation on the budget of the organization, and how AmCham Kuwait has been utilizing the budget to benefit the membership and their advocacy efforts. It is estimated that the surplus of the actual receivables and expenses compared to last year’s budgets accounts for an 8% surplus for this year (up until September).
Dr. Harraf introduced AmCham Kuwait’s committee chairs which include: the Membership Committee, which oversees all membership-related activities (chaired by Rt. Bg. Gen. Musaed Al Hawli), the Events Committee, which oversees events and initiatives (chaired by Meziane Ghaoui), the Strategic and Policy Committee, who oversees AmCham Kuwait’s strategic roadmap and bylaws (chaired by Rashed Almunae), the Nominating and Elections Committee, which oversees the annual elections and the vetting of Board Candidates (chaired by Dr. Arezou Harraf), and finally, the Budget Committee, which oversees the finances for AmCham Kuwait (chaired by Amit Arora). Dr. Harraf also spoke about the importance of AmCham Kuwait’s Focus Groups, as she introduced the Chair of each focus group and encouraged Members to engage in these groups, as several initiatives result from the focus group discussions.
To finalize the presentation, Meziane Ghaoui, Chair of the Events Committee, provided an overview of upcoming events, as he encouraged participants and Members alike to attend as many events as possible, to make the most out of being a member of a business group.
Once the presentation was finalized, Dr. Harraf took the time to recognize the event’s sponsors: Platinum Sponsor and Champion for AmCham Kuwait, KGL.
Recognition was also given to the event’s exclusive Airline Partner, Air France-KLM, and the event’s Hospitality partner and AmCham Kuwait’s newest Chairman’s Club Member – Waldorf Astoria Hotel – Kuwait.
The AmCham Kuwait team, represented by Samar Bqaeen PR and Event Coordinator held a raffle for participants to finalize the evening. The first prize was a 6-month membership to the Crowne Plaza Al-Thuraya Health Club, the EDGE. The second prize was 5 vouchers from Del Monte Arabia. 5 boxes from Al-Mufid Pharmaceuticals were given as the third prize, and the fourth prize was a dinner for two voucher courtesy of Al-Jumeirah Beach and Spa Hotel. The fifth prize was 5 vouchers from Nox-Culinary, and the highlight prize for the evening was provided by Air France & KLM – two economy class tickets to any destination in the USA (upgradable to a business if seats are available at departure).
ABCK-AmCham Kuwait: Is a non-profit organization operating since 1985 and is composed of Fortune 500 corporations, small and medium-sized companies, and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs, both American and Kuwaiti. ABCK-AmCham Kuwait has acted as an advocate for American interests in the state of Kuwait. For More Information, please visit our website at www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on our social media channel @abck1985