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The Role of the Private Sector in the Future of the Kuwaiti Economy

Some of Kuwait's top public- and private-sector leaders, as well as a range of international investors, came together in London on June 17 to bring new momentum to Kuwait's development vision at the latest The Business Year event, The Role of the Private Sector in the Future of the Kuwaiti Economy. The event coincided with 120 years of UK-Kuwait friendship, and sought to bring new energy to Kuwait's plans for a diversified future and its bold Vision 2035.

After a welcome address by The Business Year CEO Ayşe Hazır Valentin, HE Dr. Nayef F. Al-Hajraf, Kuwait Minister of Finance, kicked off the event, discussing the significance of 120 years of UK-Kuwait friendship, while also delving into the future of Kuwait and highlighting the significance of young Kuwaitis in a post-oil environment. On the role of the ministry, he stated that, “We will continue providing all necessary financing to make sure all projects are completed and infrastructure upgraded." On Kuwait-UK relations, he said; “We welcome cooperation with the UK and Kuwaiti private sectors. With the help of the UK private sector, we hope we can achieve another 120 years of friendship between our two countries."

Director-General of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) Sheikh Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al- Sabah made a presentation on Kuwait's advantages and potential, primarily highlighting the legislative and legal atmosphere and available investment opportunities, which are aimed at achieving economic diversification and promoting the private sector's role in the economy. He said Kuwait boasts great potential to be a significant destination for attracting investment in the region, pointing to progress in the field of developing and streamlining investment-bearing legislation and procedures. Sheikh Meshaal also said the holding of the conference in London comes within the framework of achieving Kuwait's 2035 development plan, and of promoting Kuwait's advantages. He noted that the aim of these conferences in 2 major capitals is to attract direct added-value investments that provide jobs to young Kuwaiti people.

Among other speakers were Sir Roger Gifford, City of London Corporation and Chair of Green Finance Institute, Sylvain Broyer, Chief Economist EMEA at S&P Global, Vomic Shah, Head of Origination at UK Export Finance (UKEF), Mazin Saad Al Nahedh, Group CEO of Kuwait Finance House, and Baroness Morris of Bolton, UK Trade Envoy to Kuwait.

Sir Roger Gifford, a former Lord Mayor of London, discussed the relationship between the City of London and Kuwait. “In my previous role as Lord Mayor of London, I went to Kuwait more than once, and indeed every Lord Mayor goes to Kuwait," he began. Switching to the green agenda, he said, “the UK has positioned itself as a hub for green finance. I encourage Kuwait to embrace the green agenda and be a leader in the Gulf. The newly established Green Finance Institute, which I'm happy to represent today, is designed to be a driver for private capital. It also intends to be world leader in climate science and help to turn climate risk into commercial opportunity. We hope to work with Kuwait to develop the green economy as it continues to diversify."

Sylvain Broyer started by discussing the difficulties of diversifying an economy. He pointed to the dependence of countries like Indonesia on palm oil and a recent decision in Brussels to phase out the use of palm oil in the EU. Thus, he highlighted the importance of increasing the diversification of exports to insure political and social stability.

Vomic Shah discussed the role of UK Export Finance to encourage trade between the UK and its partners overseas. “We provide support to British businesses that want to export to countries like Kuwait. Most significantly, we provide support to buyers of UK goods overseas. We provide financing support to Kuwait investors for projects in Kuwait that involve the procurement of goods from the UK." He added that, “We will look to support British businesses and contractors looking at investment projects in Kuwait, but also Kuwaiti contractors themselves. We will treat them like British businesses because we can expect a certain level of procurement from the UK."

Mazin Saad Al Nahedh concentrated on the two main pillars he suggests will change Kuwait's financial landscape, namely digital transformation in the banking sector and goals contained within Kuwait's Vision 2035. “The 2030s will be the age of 'me,' with personalized services offered via the help of digital connectivity and AI models." He continued, “this trend will enhance the role of the private sector in the economy as it is a key part of Kuwait's efforts to become a finance hub."

Baroness Morris of Bolton also wished to mark the 120th anniversary of UK-Kuwait friendship and drew attention to the strength of bilateral ties. “I was one of the first eight Trade Envoys to be appointed and there are now far more. The fact that Kuwait was one of the first countries to be assigned a UK trade envoy speaks volumes about the level of ties between the two countries," she said. She later added that, “Our total trade in goods and services amounted to GBP1.3 billion in 2012 and has more than doubled over the years. This is thanks to the ingenuity of private firms in both countries—total trade now amounts to over GBP4 billion." She also drew attention to the fact that the majority of British exports to Kuwait are services, with Kuwaitis appreciating British expertise, while cars, medical equipment, aerospace equipment, and more are also part of the export basket. “The job of the Trade Envoy is to break down barriers and some of the biggest areas we have made are in healthcare, education, and food. We are looking to new areas of trade. One key milestone was the opening of a USD3 billion export credit line with the KPC."

Waleed Khaled Alkhashti, Chief Corporate Communications & Relations Officer at Zain Group, spoke on behalf of Vice Chairman and Group CEO Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi. Alkhashti spoke about the expansion of the role of Zain and its focus on digital transformation, innovation, the creation of ecosystems together with the public sector, and the role of women. He emphasized the need to encourage more people from the public sector into the private sector.

Philip Kotsis, Partner & Co-Head of Office-Kuwait at Al Tamimi & Co., discussed some of the legal aspects of doing business in Kuwait. “What is the catch to doing business in Kuwait? There really isn't one. It is all about knowledge. You have to know the local market and the local regime," he said. Expanding on the process of setting up a business in Kuwait, he said, “Most companies come into Kuwait with their commercial plan set up and don't seek local legal advice until the last moment. That isn't the right approach."

The event also featured a trio of panels. In the first, the diversification of the Kuwaiti economy was up for discussion. Speakers included Osama J. Bukhamseen, Executive Manager of Bukhamseen Group Holding Co., Waleed Alsharian, CEO of Mabanee Group, and David Walker, Head of Public Sector EMEA at Citi. Osama J. Bukhamseen was passionate about inviting investors to Kuwait to see all that it has to offer. Waleed Alsharian, a key figure in the real estate sector, discussed the need to put more focus on hospitality and other areas as retail lags, while David Walker was keen to point out that Kuwaiti banks have a big opportunity in MENA in terms of client base and other opportunities. On the role of KDIPA and the overall regulatory environment, Walker stated that, “We applaud the work being done by KDIPA and part of our role as an international firm is to communicate the story and encourage our international clients to seriously consider Kuwait in their investment plans."

Later, Kuwait's financial sector and its role in continuing privatization was the focus of a second panel. Participants included Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Al-Sabah, Chairman of the Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK), Faisal Mansour Sarkhou, CEO of KAMCO, Adel Abdul Wahab Al-Majed, Chairman of the Kuwait Banking Association (KBA), and Roger Winfield, CEO Kuwait at HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd. Under the microscope was the role of Kuwait's banks in financing Kuwait's lofty development goals, the privatization story of Boursa Kuwait, Islamic finance, and how foreign investors evaluate the current landscape. Roger Winfield spoke of the history of HSBC in Kuwait, stating that, “We have had a longstanding commitment to Kuwait and the region," later delving into the Boursa Kuwait Story, saying, “The Boursa Kuwait deal, with KAMCO successfully completing its advisory role in the bidding process, was put to bed in a highly efficient manner and is something that we point out to our clients about what is being done." Speaking on the health of the overall banking sector, Adel Abdul Wahab Al- Majed stated that, “We are well capitalized with a good quality of assets... This is even better than prior to 2008." Discussing Islamic finance, he said that, “Islamic banking used to mostly be in the consumer space, but is now moving into the corporate area." Faisal Mansour Sarkhou added that, “there is great demand for Islamic instruments," adding that, “there is great opportunity for growth and it is already approaching the level of conventional banking."

Finally, a panel on digital economy and entrepreneurship gathered Fahad AlSharekh, Founder & General Partner at TechInvest Corporation, Abdullah Al Mutawa, former CEO of Carriage, Athbi Alenezi, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Just Clean, and Henadi Al-Saleh, Chairperson of Agility. Discussing the tech start-up ecosystem, Fahad AlSharekh talked about the difficulty of creating a sufficient ecosystem, suggesting that even London was struggling compared to places like Silicon Valley. “I think Kuwait needs a lot of work in terms of the legislation sector, the banking sector, and the education sector," he summarized. Henadi Al-Saleh discussed the significance of blockchain in the future of logistics and praised the public-private dynamics on show in Kuwait. Discussing the role of women in the sector, she drew attention to the fact that over 50% of Agility's venture capital team are women. Fahad AlSharekh, discussing the need to create more private-sector jobs, stated that, “The biggest problem is a lack of meaningful jobs. An accountant in the public sector will be doing relatively the same thing as an accountant in the private sector. But if we can create more niche, meaningful jobs, such as digital marketing or branding roles, which do not exist in the public sector, we can encourage more people into the private sector." Athbi Alenezi spoke of changing attitudes, with young Kuwaitis slowly getting used the pace of the private sector, reflecting on his own experiences of running a successful start-up.

Event sponsors included the Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT), Kuwait Finance House (KFH), Zain, Al Tamimi & Company, and Schlumberger, while supporting organizations included the Kuwait Banking Association (KBA), Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI), and Pathfinder Trade and Invest, while among media partners were M2R, Al-Qabas, Savvy Investor, and the Kuwait Times.

To reach a selection of photographs from the event click here.


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Ayşe Hazır Valentin
Ayşe Hazır Valentin
CEO
The Business Year




Ayşe Hazır Valentin is CEO and founder of The Business Year, a global media group that has been providing investors, businesses, and governments with first-hand insights into the world's most dynamic markets for over a decade. Since founding the company, she has overseen the growth of operations across the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Having also successfully guided the company through the digital transition, she is now focusing on the expansion of coverage into Europe.

Before founding The Business Year, Ayşe worked as Europe, Middle East and Asia Regional Director at Oxford Business Group, a London-based publishing house, from 2004 to 2009. Prior to that she was Project Director for Eastern Europe at Global Business Reports, where she coordinated research on countries targeting EU accession.

At the start of her career, she also gathered extensive experience as a sectoral business intelligence project director in various geographies, from Oman to the Russian Federation and Indonesia, covering industries such as oil and gas, power, and chemical manufacturing. Ayşe holds a BA in chemistry from Istanbul Boğaziçi University and lives in London. She is a mother of two, a qualified yoga teacher, and an avid sailor.

Nayef F. Al-Hajraf
HE Dr. Nayef F. Al-Hajraf
Minister of Finance
Kuwait

Minister Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf was sworn in as Kuwait's nineteenth Minister of Finance on December 12, 2017, with more than 15 years of experience in public and private sector management, education, and financial consulting. Prior to his appointment, Al-Hajraf served as the country's chief regulator of marketable securities in his capacity as the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and Managing Director of the Kuwait Capital Markets Authority (CMA) from 2014 to 2017. He has previously served as Kuwait Minister of Finance for a brief period in 2012, and Kuwait Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education from 2012 to 2014. He was also member of the First Board of Commissioners of the Capital Markets Authority in 2010, and a member of the Supreme Petroleum Council. Al-Hajraf holds a PhD in accounting and finance from the University of Hull, UK.

Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah
Sheikh Dr. Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah
Director General
Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA)

Sheikh Dr. Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah is currently Director-General of KDIPA. He also chairs the Permanent Committee for Streamlining Business Environment & Enhancing Competitiveness in the State of Kuwait. Sheikh Dr. Meshaal served as Deputy Chairman for National Offset Company (NOC), previously chaired the inter-Ministerial Steering Group for insolvency and creditor/debtor regime, and was a member of the board of directors for the Central Bank of Kuwait. Prior to that, he was Chief of the Kuwait Foreign Investment Bureau Division under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. He holds a PhD in HR and marketing management from the University of Portsmouth (UK), an MBA from Maastricht School of Management, and a BA in political science and public administration from Kuwait University.

Roger Gifford
Sir Roger Gifford
City of London Corporation and Chair
Green Finance Institute

Sir Roger Gifford is a Senior Banker at SEB in London. He read Chemistry at Oxford University and began his career in the financial sector at S.G. Warburg & Co, joining SEB in 1982. Prior to his appointment as UK Country Head (2000-2016), Roger headed the bank's operations in Japan for six years. He has worked in and around the primary debt and equity capital markets most of his career. He is Vice Chairman and past Chair of the Association of Foreign Banks (AFB) in London and Chair of the Advisory Board of the International Business and Diplomatic Exchange (IBDE). He is Chair of the London Green Finance Initiative and chaired the UK Government's Green Finance Taskforce last year. He was Lord Mayor of London in 2013.

Waleed Alsharian
Waleed Alsharian
CEO
Mabanee Company (K.P.S.C)

Waleed Alsharian holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from North Carolina Agriculture & Technical State University. Alsharian was appointed CEO of Mabanee Company in 2006. He has over 31 years of real estate development, operation, manufacturing, project planning, property management, investment, maintenance, sales, and marketing. He is a board member of the Kuwait Metro Rapid Transport Company and a member of the Kuwait Society of Engineers.

Osama J. Bukhamseen
Osama J. Bukhamseen
Executive Manager
Bukhamseen Group Holding Company

The Executive Manager of Bukhamseen Group Holding Co., Osama J. Bukhamseen is also Chairman of Tanmiya Realty Development Co., Osama Bukhamseen Design. He is also a member of the board of the Real Estate Association of Kuwait, Al-Arabiya Real Estate Co., Ritaj Takaful Insurance Co., Creditone Holding Co., and Kuwait University – College of Engineering and Petroleum.

David Walker
David Walker
Head of Public Sector EMEA
Citi

David Walker is head of Citi's public sector banking group for Europe, Middle East, and Africa. He commenced this role in January 2015. The business serves governments, central banks, agencies, and multilateral organisations across the region, with teams in over 50 countries. Walker joined Citi in 1990, and his previous roles include UK Head of Corporate Banking (2011-2014), Head of Banking for Switzerland (2008-2010), Financial Institutions Group (2004-2008), and Industrials Group (2000-2004). Prior to this he had roles in capital markets, derivatives, and transaction services. He is a senior credit officer at Citibank and is a Trustee Director of Citibank's UK pension schemes. David holds a degree in economics from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and was a Robert T. Jones scholar at Emory University in Atlanta, US.

Sylvain Broyer
Moderator: Sylvain Broyer
Chief EMEA Economist
S&P Global Ratings

Sylvain joined S&P Global Ratings in September 2018 as Chief EMEA Economist, based in Frankfurt. Before that, Sylvain was Head of Economics at the French investment bank Natixis and a member of the General Management of its German Branch. Sylvain has been a member of the “ECB shadow Council", a panel of leading European economists formed by German economic daily Handelsblatt since November 2012, and is a member of different public sector advisory groups (European Investment Bank, European Security Markets Authority, French Markets regulation authority). Sylvain holds doctorate degrees in Economics from the Universities of Frankfurt and of Lyon as well as a certification from the International Securities Market Association (ISMA). He teaches at the Paris Dauphine University for the Master in Banking & Finance.

Vomic Shah
Vomic Shah
Head of Origination
UK Export Finance (UKEF)

Vomic Shah is Head of Business Origination at UK Export Finance. Before moving to UK Export Finance, Vomic held various leadership positions in corporate and investment banking, most recently with the French multi-national bank Societe Generale. At Societe Generale, Vomic headed the mining and natural resources sector for the bank and covered a number of growth markets, including Central Asia. Prior to that, Vomic worked at leading international banks including Citigroup, Standard Bank, and HSBC. Vomic has originated and executed cross-border transactions globally and has worked closely with both the private sector and state authorities. He has had a particular focus on emerging markets, providing both strategic advice as well as delivering structured financing solutions for projects across the CIS region, Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

Mazin Saad Al Nahedh
Mazin Saad Al Nahedh
Group CEO
Kuwait Financial House (KFH)

Mazin Saad Al Nahedh received his bachelor's degree in business administration with a major in finance from California State University. He has also completed numerous specialized executive programs, including the General Management Program (GMP) at Harvard Business School. Alnahedh has been the Group CEO at Kuwait Finance House since 2014. In addition, he is Chairman of KFH Capital Investment Company and Board Member of Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank. Alnahedh possesses a vast banking experience, spanning more than 25 years.

Ahmad Duaij Al-Sabah
Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Al-Sabah
Chairman
Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK)

Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Al-Sabah has been Chairman of CBK since 2018. Prior to this, he was Vice Chairman of the bank from 2015-2018 and Board Member from 2012-2015. He is also the Chairman of Al Tijari Financial Brokerage Company and board member of Kuwait Clearing Company and Institute of Banking Studies and was recently nominated Deputy Chairman of the Kuwait Banking Association. He was previously with Al Tijari Investment Company (CBK Capital), the Commercial Bank of Kuwait, and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. He acquired an MBA from Maastricht School of Management after obtaining his bachelor's degree in science with a major in finance from Bentley College in the US.

Faisal Mansour Sarkhou
Faisal Mansour Sarkhou
CEO
KAMCO

Faisal Mansour Sarkhou joined KAMCO's team in 2000 and was last promoted as CEO in 2014 after heading the corporate finance department from 2006-2010 and the financial services and investment division since 2010. Sarkhou is also Chairman of Global Investment House. He has extensive experience of over 19 years in investment banking, asset management, financial products, as well as financial services. He commenced his career in the late 1990s with KPMG Corporate Finance in Kuwait. He is an economics graduate with honors from the University of Birmingham, UK, and holds an EMBA with distinction from HEC Paris.

Adel Abdul Wahab Al-Majed
Adel Abdul Wahab Al-Majed
Chairman
Kuwait Banking Association (KBA)

Adel Abdul Wahab Al-Majed has been at the helm of Boubyan Bank as Vice Chairman and CEO since 2009, achieving remarkable success in the Islamic banking industry. He first joined NBK in 1985 and saw his career progress from Executive Manager to AGM, DGM of Consumer Banking, GM of Consumer Banking Group, and Deputy CEO, before taking the leadership position at Boubyan Bank. He graduated from the University of Alexandria with a bachelor's degree in accounting and attended various management training programs at prestigious universities including Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford.

Roger Winfield
Roger Winfield
CEO
HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd. - Kuwait

Roger Winfield is the CEO for HSBC in Kuwait. Roger's career in banking stretches back more than 40 years and began with Lloyds Banking Group in the City of London. For the past 34 years, he has worked overseas in a number of Asian countries, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore, as well as Mauritius, Switzerland, and the UAE with Lloyds, Deutsche Bank, and, for the last 13 years, HSBC. After an eight-year spell in Dubai with HSBC, he was promoted to CEO of the bank's operations in Kuwait in 2015. HSBC is the only British bank operating in the country and is the largest of the foreign banks operating there.

Han Le
Moderator: Han Le
Regional Director
The Business Year

Han Le is the The Business Year's Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to his current position, he was the lead field editor for TBY's coverage of countries such as Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania and Turkey. Before joining TBY, Han spent several years in the Middle East and North Africa with a variety of local and international media outlets. He is a native of Portland, Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon.

Baroness Morris of Bolton
Baroness Morris of Bolton
Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Jordan, Kuwait and the Palestinian Territories

Baroness (Trish) Morris of Bolton is a Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords. She has held a number of shadow ministerial roles, including Education & Skills, Children, Schools & Families, and Women. Prior to entering the Lords in 2004, she worked in stockbroking and fundraising, was Deputy Chairman of the Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust, and from 2001-2005 was Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party with responsibility for candidates. Trish served as Chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council from 2010 to 2015 and is Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Qatar and Vice-Chairman of the Britain Palestine Group. A former trustee of UNICEF UK, Trish is President of Medical Aid for Palestinians, President of the World Travel Market Advisory Council, and sits on the Advisory Board of TES Global, which publishes TES and the Times Higher. Trish was the first Chancellor of the University of Bolton and is now Chancellor Emeritus and chairs their Centre for Islamic Finance. Baroness Morris was appointed Trade Envoy to Kuwait, Jordan & Palestinian Territories by the Prime Minister in 2012.

Waleed Al Khashti
Waleed Al Khashti
Chief Corporate Communications and Relations Officer
Zain Kuwait

Waleed Al Khashti currently holds the position of Chief Corporate Communications and Relations Officer at Zain Kuwait, where he has been responsible for the company's external, internal, and media relations, as well as the company's CSSR and sustainability strategies since 2009. He graduated from Kuwait University in 2000, majoring in economics with a minor in political science, before receiving his master's in project management from George Washington University. He has had over 20 years of experience in the telecom sector with Zain.

Fahad AlSharekh
Fahad AlSharekh
Founder & General Partner
TechInvest Corporation

Fahad AlSharekh, the Founder & General Partner of TechInvest Corporation, has over 21 years' experience in global business development, with expertise and specialization in the IT and VC field. He was formerly CEO of Sakhr Software, where he received three US patents from US PTO office for Sakhr's proprietary technologies. He also played key role in founding the first Saudi Arabia ISP AWalNet and developed the first multilingual speech-to-speech app, Language Buddy. He sits on the advisory board of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) in the UAE and is a consultant at the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority. He serves as a director on the board of CODED, the first coding academy in the GCC.

Athbi AlEnezi,
Athbi AlEnezi,
Co-founder & Managing Partner
Just Clean

Prior to establishing Just Clean, Athbi Alenezi worked in the banking sector, where he gained invaluable knowledge in the field of human resources. Born and raised in Kuwait until moving to the United Kingdom in his late teens, upon completion his education, Athbi embarked upon a career in the hospitality industry, which offered him significant experience in consumer behavior. Upon return to Kuwait and whilst still in the banking sector, he and his brother Nouri Al Enezi, inspired by the fast-moving e-commerce industry in the region, decided to set up the first laundry marketplace application. After seeing an opportunity to merge traditional cleaning methods with new technological advancements, together they launched Masbagti in April of 2016. In February 2017, they partnered with Faith Capital and successfully re-launched as Just Clean.

Abdullah Al Mutawa
Abdullah Al Mutawa
Chairman
Carriage

Abdullah Al Mutawa graduated with a civil engineering degree from the US and worked at Schlumberger before opening up his own restaurant in Kuwait City called the Stack, which led him to later found Carriage, the first service of its kind in Kuwait to combine online food ordering and delivery in one platform.

Henadi Al-Saleh
Henadi Al-Saleh
Chairperson
Agility

Henadi Al-Saleh is the Chairperson of Agility's Board of Directors and has been designated as one the most powerful businesswomen in the Middle East by Forbes Magazine. Al-Saleh oversees the company's corporate governance program while safeguarding the interests of investors and stakeholders. She also leads the company's technology ventures team, partnering with start-ups and entrepreneurs that are reshaping the supply chain. Before joining Agility, Al-Saleh was the head of debt/equity capital markets at NBK Capital in Kuwait. Al-Saleh earned a bachelor of economics from Tufts University. She sits on the board of the Gulf Warehousing Company in Qatar.

Moderator: Evan Pheiffer
Moderator: Evan Pheiffer
Editor/Writer
The Business Year

A writer and editor with extensive experience in journalism, academia, and political and economic research, Evan Pheiffer lived and work in France, India, Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong, Colombia, and Lebanon before moving to Istanbul in 2016. He holds advanced degrees in histroy from Columbia and the London School of Economics and speaks French, Spanish, and Turkish.

Philip Kotsis
Philip Kotsis
Partner & Co-head of Office-Kuwait
Al Tamimi & Co.

A partner and co-head at the Al Tamimi & Company Kuwait office, Philip Kotsis is also head of the Corporate Commercial department in Kuwait. Prior to joining Al Tamimi in 2009, he was a senior legal consultant with DLA Piper, where he focused primarily on the corporate, commercial, banking, and finance sectors. He is a US-qualified attorney with a broad range of experience in local and transnational commercial and corporate transactions, corporate establishments, mergers and acquisitions, corporate/joint venture organization, and banking and finance, and has substantial experience in the commercial and finance aspects of Kuwait PPP projects.

Paul Loomis
Paul Loomis
Regional Director
The Business Year

Paul Loomis is Regional Director of the Middle East and Africa for The Business Year. He has worked with TBY to document emerging markets across the world since 2014, and previously directed publications on over half a dozen countries. He oversees content and operations for the Gulf, Turkey, and West Africa today.

BACK

Monday, June 17

Morning

09:00 AM TO
09:05 AM

Introduction

Paul Loomis
Paul Loomis
Regional Director, The Business Year
Paul Loomis
Paul Loomis
Regional Director
The Business Year

Paul Loomis is Regional Director of the Middle East and Africa for The Business Year. He has worked with TBY to document emerging markets across the world since 2014, and previously directed publications on over half a dozen countries. He oversees content and operations for the Gulf, Turkey, and West Africa today.

09:05 AM TO
09:10 AM

Welcome address

Ayşe Hazır Valentin
Ayşe Hazır Valentin
CEO, The Business Year
Ayşe Hazır Valentin
Ayşe Hazır Valentin
CEO
The Business Year

Ayşe Hazır Valentin is CEO and co-founder at The Business Year, a global media group specializing in economic news, research on national economies, and business intelligence. Since taking the helm as the company's global CEO, she has overseen a major geographical expansion into many new markets across the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and she is currently orchestrating the company's digital transformation. Before joining TBY, Ayşe worked as Europe, Middle East and Asia Regional Director at Emerging Market Series, a London- and Istanbul-based publishing house, from 2004 to 2009. Prior to that she was Project Director for Eastern Europe, where she coordinated research on countries targeting EU accession. At the start of her career, she also gathered extensive experience as a sectorial business intelligence project director in various geographies, from Oman to the Russian Federation and Indonesia, covering industries such as oil and gas, power, and chemical manufacturing. Ayşe holds a BA in chemistry from Istanbul Boğaziçi University and lives in London. She is a mother of two, a qualified yoga teacher, and an avid sailor.

09:10 AM TO
09:15 AM

Welcome note

Nayef F. Al-Hajraf
HE Dr. Nayef F. Al-Hajraf
Minister of Finance, Kuwait
Nayef F. Al-Hajraf
Nayef F. Al-Hajraf
Minister of Finance
Kuwait

Minister Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf was sworn in as Kuwait's nineteenth Minister of Finance on December 12, 2017, with more than 15 years of experience in public and private sector management, education, and financial consulting. Prior to his appointment, Al-Hajraf served as the country's chief regulator of marketable securities in his capacity as the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and Managing Director of the Kuwait Capital Markets Authority (CMA) from 2014 to 2017. He has previously served as Kuwait Minister of Finance for a brief period in 2012, and Kuwait Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education from 2012 to 2014. He was also member of the First Board of Commissioners of the Capital Markets Authority in 2010, and a member of the Supreme Petroleum Council. Al-Hajraf holds a PhD in accounting and finance from the University of Hull, UK.

09:15 AM TO
09:30 AM

Opening keynote address

Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah
Sheikh Dr. Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah
Director General, Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA)
Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah
Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah
Director General
Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA)

Sheikh Dr. Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah is currently Director-General of KDIPA. He also chairs the Permanent Committee for Streamlining Business Environment & Enhancing Competitiveness in the State of Kuwait. Sheikh Dr. Meshaal served as Deputy Chairman for National Offset Company (NOC), previously chaired the inter-Ministerial Steering Group for insolvency and creditor/debtor regime, and was a member of the board of directors for the Central Bank of Kuwait. Prior to that, he was Chief of the Kuwait Foreign Investment Bureau Division under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. He holds a PhD in HR and marketing management from the University of Portsmouth (UK), an MBA from Maastricht School of Management, and a BA in political science and public administration from Kuwait University.

09:30 AM TO
09:40 AM

Guest Speaker

Roger Gifford
Sir Roger Gifford
City of London Corporation and Chair, Green Finance Institute
Roger Gifford
Roger Gifford
City of London Corporation and Chair
Green Finance Institute

Sir Roger Gifford is a Senior Banker at SEB in London. He read Chemistry at Oxford University and began his career in the financial sector at S.G. Warburg & Co, joining SEB in 1982. Prior to his appointment as UK Country Head (2000-2016), Roger headed the bank's operations in Japan for six years. He has worked in and around the primary debt and equity capital markets most of his career. He is Vice Chairman and past Chair of the Association of Foreign Banks (AFB) in London and Chair of the Advisory Board of the International Business and Diplomatic Exchange (IBDE). He is Chair of the London Green Finance Initiative and chaired the UK Government's Green Finance Taskforce last year. He was Lord Mayor of London in 2013.

09:40 AM TO
09:45 AM

Presentation

Sylvain Broyer
Moderator: Sylvain Broyer
Chief EMEA Economist, S&P Global Ratings
Sylvain Broyer
Sylvain Broyer
Chief EMEA Economist
S&P Global Ratings

Sylvain joined S&P Global Ratings in September 2018 as Chief EMEA Economist, based in Frankfurt.

Before that, Sylvain was Head of Economics at the French investment bank Natixis and a member of the General Management of its German Branch.

Sylvain has been a member of the “ECB shadow Council", a panel of leading European economists formed by German economic daily Handelsblatt since November 2012, and is a member of different public sector advisory groups (European Investment Bank, European Security Markets Authority, French Markets regulation authority).

Sylvain holds doctorate degrees in Economics from the Universities of Frankfurt and of Lyon as well as a certification from the International Securities Market Association (ISMA). He teaches at the Paris Dauphine University for the Master in Banking & Finance.

09:45 AM TO
10:30 AM

Panel: The increased diversification of the Kuwaiti economy as a fuel for the future

Though a significant portion of its government revenues comes from oil, Kuwait is keen to look into other strategic sectors and encourage greater private sector participation. The nation has identified key opportunities in renewable energy, healthcare, ICT, education, housing, and others that are ripe for investment. Also on the cards is further boosting women's participation in all sectors of the economy, which would further accelerate Kuwait's economic progress.

Waleed Alsharian
Waleed Alsharian
CEO, Mabanee Company (K.P.S.C)
Waleed Alsharian
Waleed Alsharian
CEO
Mabanee Company (K.P.S.C)

Waleed Alsharian holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from North Carolina Agriculture & Technical State University. Alsharian was appointed CEO of Mabanee Company in 2006. He has over 31 years of real estate development, operation, manufacturing, project planning, property management, investment, maintenance, sales, and marketing. He is a board member of the Kuwait Metro Rapid Transport Company and a member of the Kuwait Society of Engineers.

Osama J. Bukhamseen
Osama J. Bukhamseen
Executive Manager, Bukhamseen Group Holding Company
Osama J. Bukhamseen
Osama J. Bukhamseen
Executive Manager
Bukhamseen Group Holding Company

The Executive Manager of Bukhamseen Group Holding Co., Osama J. Bukhamseen is also Chairman of Tanmiya Realty Development Co., Osama Bukhamseen Design. He is also a member of the board of the Real Estate Association of Kuwait, Al-Arabiya Real Estate Co., Ritaj Takaful Insurance Co., Creditone Holding Co., and Kuwait University – College of Engineering and Petroleum.

David Walker
David Walker
Head of Public Sector EMEA, Citi
David Walker
David Walker
Head of Public Sector EMEA
Citi

David Walker is head of Citi's public sector banking group for Europe, Middle East, and Africa. He commenced this role in January 2015. The business serves governments, central banks, agencies, and multilateral organisations across the region, with teams in over 50 countries. Walker joined Citi in 1990, and his previous roles include UK Head of Corporate Banking (2011-2014), Head of Banking for Switzerland (2008-2010), Financial Institutions Group (2004-2008), and Industrials Group (2000-2004). Prior to this he had roles in capital markets, derivatives, and transaction services. He is a senior credit officer at Citibank and is a Trustee Director of Citibank's UK pension schemes. David holds a degree in economics from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and was a Robert T. Jones scholar at Emory University in Atlanta, US.

Sylvain Broyer
Moderator: Sylvain Broyer
Chief EMEA Economist, S&P Global Ratings
Sylvain Broyer
Sylvain Broyer
Chief EMEA Economist
S&P Global Ratings

Sylvain joined S&P Global Ratings in September 2018 as Chief EMEA Economist, based in Frankfurt.

Before that, Sylvain was Head of Economics at the French investment bank Natixis and a member of the General Management of its German Branch.

Sylvain has been a member of the “ECB shadow Council", a panel of leading European economists formed by German economic daily Handelsblatt since November 2012, and is a member of different public sector advisory groups (European Investment Bank, European Security Markets Authority, French Markets regulation authority).

Sylvain holds doctorate degrees in Economics from the Universities of Frankfurt and of Lyon as well as a certification from the International Securities Market Association (ISMA). He teaches at the Paris Dauphine University for the Master in Banking & Finance.

10:30 AM TO
10:40 AM

Guest Speaker

Vomic Shah
Vomic Shah
Head of Origination, UK Export Finance (UKEF)
Vomic Shah
Vomic Shah
Head of Origination
UK Export Finance (UKEF)

Vomic Shah is Head of Business Origination at UK Export Finance. Before moving to UK
Export Finance, Vomic held various leadership positions in corporate and investment
banking, most recently with the French multi-national bank Societe Generale. At Societe
Generale, Vomic headed the mining and natural resources sector for the bank and covered
a number of growth markets, including Central Asia. Prior to that, Vomic worked at leading
international banks including Citigroup, Standard Bank, and HSBC. Vomic has originated
and executed cross-border transactions globally and has worked closely with both the
private sector and state authorities. He has had a particular focus on emerging markets,
providing both strategic advice as well as delivering structured financing solutions for
projects across the CIS region, Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe.


10:40 AM TO
11:00 AM

Coffee break

11:00 AM TO
11:15 AM

Speech

Mazin Saad Al Nahedh
Mazin Saad Al Nahedh
Group CEO, Kuwait Financial House (KFH)
Mazin Saad Al Nahedh
Mazin Saad Al Nahedh
Group CEO
Kuwait Financial House (KFH)

Mazin Saad Al Nahedh received his bachelor's degree in business administration with a major in finance from California State University. He has also completed numerous specialized executive programs, including the General Management Program (GMP) at Harvard Business School. Alnahedh has been the Group CEO at Kuwait Finance House since 2014. In addition, he is Chairman of KFH Capital Investment Company and Board Member of Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank. Alnahedh possesses a vast banking experience, spanning more than 25 years.

11:15 AM TO
12:15 PM

Panel: Kuwait's financial sector: cornerstone of the country's privatization

After several reforms, Kuwait's financial sector is now stronger than ever. The recent privatization of Kuwait's Stock Exchange and the active participation of a reborn banking sector will be essential in Kuwait's privatization process.

Ahmad Duaij Al-Sabah
Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Al-Sabah
Chairman, Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK)
Ahmad Duaij Al-Sabah
Ahmad Duaij Al-Sabah
Chairman
Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK)

Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Al-Sabah has been Chairman of CBK since 2018. Prior to this, he was Vice Chairman of the bank from 2015-2018 and Board Member from 2012-2015. He is also the Chairman of Al Tijari Financial Brokerage Company and board member of Kuwait Clearing Company and Institute of Banking Studies and was recently nominated Deputy Chairman of the Kuwait Banking Association. He was previously with Al Tijari Investment Company (CBK Capital), the Commercial Bank of Kuwait, and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. He acquired an MBA from Maastricht School of Management after obtaining his bachelor's degree in science with a major in finance from Bentley College in the US.

Faisal Mansour Sarkhou
Faisal Mansour Sarkhou
CEO, KAMCO
Faisal Mansour Sarkhou
Faisal Mansour Sarkhou
CEO
KAMCO

Faisal Mansour Sarkhou joined KAMCO's team in 2000 and was last promoted as CEO in 2014 after heading the corporate finance department from 2006-2010 and the financial services and investment division since 2010. Sarkhou is also Chairman of Global Investment House. He has extensive experience of over 19 years in investment banking, asset management, financial products, as well as financial services. He commenced his career in the late 1990s with KPMG Corporate Finance in Kuwait. He is an economics graduate with honors from the University of Birmingham, UK, and holds an EMBA with distinction from HEC Paris.

Adel Abdul Wahab Al-Majed
Adel Abdul Wahab Al-Majed
Chairman, Kuwait Banking Association (KBA)
Adel Abdul Wahab Al-Majed
Adel Abdul Wahab Al-Majed
Chairman
Kuwait Banking Association (KBA)

Adel Abdul Wahab Al-Majed has been at the helm of Boubyan Bank as Vice Chairman and CEO since 2009, achieving remarkable success in the Islamic banking industry. He first joined NBK in 1985 and saw his career progress from Executive Manager to AGM, DGM of Consumer Banking, GM of Consumer Banking Group, and Deputy CEO, before taking the leadership position at Boubyan Bank. He graduated from the University of Alexandria with a bachelor's degree in accounting and attended various management training programs at prestigious universities including Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford.

Roger Winfield
Roger Winfield
CEO, HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd. - Kuwait
Roger Winfield
Roger Winfield
CEO
HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd. - Kuwait

Roger Winfield is the CEO for HSBC in Kuwait. Roger's career in banking stretches back more than 40 years and began with Lloyds Banking Group in the City of London. For the past 34 years, he has worked overseas in a number of Asian countries, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore, as well as Mauritius, Switzerland, and the UAE with Lloyds, Deutsche Bank, and, for the last 13 years, HSBC. After an eight-year spell in Dubai with HSBC, he was promoted to CEO of the bank's operations in Kuwait in 2015. HSBC is the only British bank operating in the country and is the largest of the foreign banks operating there.

Han Le
Moderator: Han Le
Regional Director, The Business Year
Han Le
Han Le
Regional Director
The Business Year

Han Le is the The Business Year's Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to his current position, he was the lead field editor for TBY's coverage of countries such as Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania and Turkey. Before joining TBY, Han spent several years in the Middle East and North Africa with a variety of local and international media outlets. He is a native of Portland, Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon.

Afternoon

12:15 PM TO
12:45 PM

Coffee break

12:45 PM TO
12:50 PM

Guest speaker

Baroness Morris of Bolton
Baroness Morris of Bolton
Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Jordan, Kuwait and the Palestinian Territories,
Baroness Morris of Bolton
Baroness Morris of Bolton
Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Jordan, Kuwait and the Palestinian Territories

Baroness (Trish) Morris of Bolton is a Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords. She has held a number of shadow ministerial roles, including Education & Skills, Children, Schools & Families, and Women. Prior to entering the Lords in 2004, she worked in stockbroking and fundraising, was Deputy Chairman of the Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust, and from 2001-2005 was Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party with responsibility for candidates. Trish served as Chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council from 2010 to 2015 and is Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Qatar and Vice-Chairman of the Britain Palestine Group. A former trustee of UNICEF UK, Trish is President of Medical Aid for Palestinians, President of the World Travel Market Advisory Council, and sits on the Advisory Board of TES Global, which publishes TES and the Times Higher. Trish was the first Chancellor of the University of Bolton and is now Chancellor Emeritus and chairs their Centre for Islamic Finance. Baroness Morris was appointed Trade Envoy to Kuwait, Jordan & Palestinian Territories by the Prime Minister in 2012.

12:50 PM TO
01:05 PM

Speech

Waleed Al Khashti
Waleed Al Khashti
Chief Corporate Communications and Relations Officer, Zain Kuwait
Waleed Al Khashti
Waleed Al Khashti
Chief Corporate Communications and Relations Officer
Zain Kuwait

Waleed Al Khashti currently holds the position of Chief Corporate Communications and Relations Officer at Zain Kuwait, where he has been responsible for the company's external, internal, and media relations, as well as the company's CSSR and sustainability strategies since 2009. He graduated from Kuwait University in 2000, majoring in economics with a minor in political science, before receiving his master's in project management from George Washington University. He has had over 20 years of experience in the telecom sector with Zain.

01:05 PM TO
02:05 PM

​Panel: Digital economy and entrepreneurship

With a nationwide bid to promote digital transformation and spur economic diversifcation, Kuwait seeks to leverage digitization to boost its standing as a digital hub in the region. The nation has established incubators and accelerators to inspire a new generation of Kuwaiti, tech-savvy innovators. How can Kuwait further capitalize on its digital transformation and drive further innovation?

Fahad AlSharekh
Fahad AlSharekh
Founder & General Partner, TechInvest Corporation
Fahad AlSharekh
Fahad AlSharekh
Founder & General Partner
TechInvest Corporation

Fahad AlSharekh, the Founder & General Partner of TechInvest Corporation, has over 21 years' experience in global business development, with expertise and specialization in the IT and VC field. He was formerly CEO of Sakhr Software, where he received three US patents from US PTO office for Sakhr's proprietary technologies. He also played key role in founding the first Saudi Arabia ISP AWalNet and developed the first multilingual speech-to-speech app, Language Buddy. He sits on the advisory board of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) in the UAE and is a consultant at the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority. He serves as a director on the board of CODED, the first coding academy in the GCC.

Athbi AlEnezi,
Athbi AlEnezi,
Co-founder & Managing Partner, Just Clean
Athbi AlEnezi,
Athbi AlEnezi,
Co-founder & Managing Partner
Just Clean

Prior to establishing Just Clean, Athbi Alenezi worked in the banking sector, where he gained invaluable knowledge in the field of human resources. Born and raised in Kuwait until moving to the United Kingdom in his late teens, upon completion his education, Athbi embarked upon a career in the hospitality industry, which offered him significant experience in consumer behavior. Upon return to Kuwait and whilst still in the banking sector, he and his brother Nouri Al Enezi, inspired by the fast-moving e-commerce industry in the region, decided to set up the first laundry marketplace application. After seeing an opportunity to merge traditional cleaning methods with new technological advancements, together they launched Masbagti in April of 2016. In February 2017, they partnered with Faith Capital and successfully re-launched as Just Clean.

Abdullah Al Mutawa
Abdullah Al Mutawa
Chairman, Carriage
Abdullah Al Mutawa
Abdullah Al Mutawa
Chairman
Carriage

Abdullah Al Mutawa graduated with a civil engineering degree from the US and worked at Schlumberger before opening up his own restaurant in Kuwait City called the Stack, which led him to later found Carriage, the first service of its kind in Kuwait to combine online food ordering and delivery in one platform.

Henadi Al-Saleh
Henadi Al-Saleh
Chairperson, Agility
Henadi Al-Saleh
Henadi Al-Saleh
Chairperson
Agility

Henadi Al-Saleh is the Chairperson of Agility's Board of Directors and has been designated as one the most powerful businesswomen in the Middle East by Forbes Magazine. Al-Saleh oversees the company's corporate governance program while safeguarding the interests of investors and stakeholders. She also leads the company's technology ventures team, partnering with start-ups and entrepreneurs that are reshaping the supply chain. Before joining Agility, Al-Saleh was the head of debt/equity capital markets at NBK Capital in Kuwait. Al-Saleh earned a bachelor of economics from Tufts University. She sits on the board of the Gulf Warehousing Company in Qatar.

Moderator: Evan Pheiffer
Moderator: Evan Pheiffer
Editor/Writer, The Business Year
Moderator: Evan Pheiffer
Moderator: Evan Pheiffer
Editor/Writer
The Business Year

A writer and editor with extensive experience in journalism, academia, and political and economic research, Evan Pheiffer lived and work in France, India, Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong, Colombia, and Lebanon before moving to Istanbul in 2016. He holds advanced degrees in histroy from Columbia and the London School of Economics and speaks French, Spanish, and Turkish.

02:20 PM TO
02:30 PM

Closing keynote address

Philip Kotsis
Philip Kotsis
Partner & Co-head of Office-Kuwait, Al Tamimi & Co.
Philip Kotsis
Philip Kotsis
Partner & Co-head of Office-Kuwait
Al Tamimi & Co.

A partner and co-head at the Al Tamimi & Company Kuwait office, Philip Kotsis is also head of the Corporate Commercial department in Kuwait. Prior to joining Al Tamimi in 2009, he was a senior legal consultant with DLA Piper, where he focused primarily on the corporate, commercial, banking, and finance sectors. He is a US-qualified attorney with a broad range of experience in local and transnational commercial and corporate transactions, corporate establishments, mergers and acquisitions, corporate/joint venture organization, and banking and finance, and has substantial experience in the commercial and finance aspects of Kuwait PPP projects.

02:20 PM TO
02:30 PM

Closing remarks

Paul Loomis
Paul Loomis
Regional Director, The Business Year
Paul Loomis
Paul Loomis
Regional Director
The Business Year

Paul Loomis is Regional Director of the Middle East and Africa for The Business Year. He has worked with TBY to document emerging markets across the world since 2014, and previously directed publications on over half a dozen countries. He oversees content and operations for the Gulf, Turkey, and West Africa today.

02:30 PM TO
05:00 PM

Networking lunch

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