Third forum held in Kuwait jointly by KDIPA, KCCI and KSCPD

KUWAIT: The 3rd EU-GCC Business Forum convened yesterday in Kuwait City in cooperation with Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA), the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and the Kuwait Supreme Council for Planning and Development. The two-day Forum titled "An Oasis of Opportunities" tackled subjects such as innovation and entrepreneurship and investment opportunities in the healthcare sector, digitalization and doing business in GCC.

Ali Al-Ghanim

Attended by over 450 delegates from both the EU and GCC regions, expert speakers presented details on the ongoing initiatives and discussed planned investments in their respective countries.

Ali Mohammad Ghanim, Chairman of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry commented about the EU-GCC Economic Cooperation.

"The economic cooperation between both sides has been three-pronged till the wake of the 21st century namely energy, trade and investment. We hope that this relationship continues to blossom and move forward as the GCC continues to search for way to diversify its economy."

Sheikh Dr Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Director General of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority said; 'The 3rd EU -GCC Business Forum is an expression of the strength of ongoing bilateral relations and increasing ties between the EU and GCC. During this dynamic period of GCC development when economic diversification requires the free movement of investments and trade, this forum is an important platform for leading government officials and senior executives from the private sector to openly discuss key topics aimed at strengthening linkages and enhancing collaboration to foster a thriving, inclusive and sustainable future for all.'

Dr Khaled Mahdi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development commented during the event "we are very pleased with the outcomes of this joint partnership in organizing an EU-GCC platform that enables the community, stakeholders and partners - private and public sector at large to interact with one another. The EU is an important and strategic partner to Kuwait and the greater GCC. This forum allowed a closer interaction between private sector companies, businessmen from Europe and government entities to grasp a better understanding of each other's needs and expertise. I believe in the near future we will see more partnerships forming and higher inflow of foreign direct investment coming from Europe and vice versa."

"The forum offered an immense opportunity for cross-cutting networking and identification of trade and investment opportunities between EU and the GCC countries", said Stefan Kraxner, leader of the EU-GCC Dialogue on Economic Diversification Project Team adding "that the business linkages established will contribute to supporting the ongoing diversification strategies in key economic sectors".

Michele Cervone D’urso

The official opening of the forum on the 19th of March, was attended by the Chairman of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Ali Al Ghanem, the Secretary General of the Secretariat of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Michele Cervone D'urso, the EU Ambassador to the Delegation of European Union to Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and Mariam Al-Aqeel, Minister of State for Economic Affairs in the State of Kuwait. The Kuwait Direct Investment and Promotion Authority (KDIPA) was represented by the Director General, Sheikh Dr Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development was represented by the Secretary-General Dr Khaled Mahdi with other representatives from both the UAE and GCC Federations of Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The forum continued on its 2nd day with a series of panel discussions covering topics such as current EU-GCC Trade relations, GCC Business Opportunities, Digitalization, Investments in Healthcare, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Daniel Tanase, Ambassador from Romania, commented at the conclusion of the event that "the EU GCC Business Forum, is an excellent example of the strategic partnership between the GCC and the EU in operation. As we move into the fully digital age, all countries are facing similar challenges and opportunities. The priorities of the current Romanian Presidency of the EU are similar in many respects to the Vision statements of GCC member states in terms of their aspirations to build knowledge-based economies and societies for the benefit of their citizens. The Business Forum is not an end in itself. It has set the foundation for future important and multi-faceted cooperation between us. We look forward to deepening our relationship with the GCC in the coming years."