The role of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce has, arguably, never been more vital to the nation than it is today. Established in 1959 it has always been an institution of high regard, and without its influence there is little doubt that Kuwait would not have grown to become the international and outward looking trading nation that it has become.
Its existence is owed to the rapid increase in commercial trade during the 1950s. With an increase in trade came, unsurprisingly, an increase in trade disputes. Initially the Chamber was established with the purpose of being an arbiter on these occasions. An independent judge empowered with discharging fair decisions to build and enhance Kuwaitís reputation as a great place to do good business.
Once established the Chamberís members, through their elected board, expanded the remit of the KCCI and it has seen itself heavily involved in many significant additions to the way Kuwait does business Ė both within itself and throughout the world.
As early as 1960 the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry saw the importance of and called for the establishment of a Free Trade Zone within our borders. It took thirty-five years for a Decree to be issued in favor of the establishment of the Zone, and another four years until it opened. But the KCCI fought constantly throughout the period.
Today the role of the KCCI encompasses a wide range of activities both in and outside of Kuwait. Its chairman, Ali Mohammed Thunayan Al-Ghanim, is a figure on the international business stage, and represents Kuwait as a defacto commercial ambassador for the nation.
The KCCI promotes trade and commerce shows in Kuwait, and helps facilitate the entry of foreign companies to the local market as well as assisting Kuwaiti companies who seek to export both goods and services.
The Chamber is managed by an elected board whose members are taken from a broad-range of commerce and industry in the country. The dedication of the board members, whose names read like a ĎWhoís Whoí of Kuwaitís well-known trading families, is the key to the power and influence the Chamber has nationally and throughout the region.
Current board members are:
Mr. Ali Mohammed Thunayan Al-Ghanim (Chairman)
Mr. Khalid Abdulla Hamad Al-Sagar (First Vice-Chairman)
Mr. Abdul Wahab M. Al-Wazzan (Second Vice-Chairman)
Mr. Abdulla Saud Al-Homaizi (Honorary Treasurer)
Mr. Waleed Khalid Hmoud Al-Dabbous (Honorary Deputy Treasurer)
Mr. Osama Mohammed Yousuf Al-Nisf (Member of Bureau)
Mr. Esam Mohammad Al-Bahar (Member of Bureau)
Mr. Ahmad Sulaiman Al-Qudaibi (Member)
Mr. Anas Khalid Al-Saleh (Member)
Mr. Hussein Ali Al-Kharafi (Member)
Mr. Khalid A. Al-Modahkha (Member)
Mr. Khalid Mishari Al-Khalid (Member)
Mr. Dabbous Faisal Ghanim Al-Dabbous (Member)
Mr. Sayer Bader Al-Sayer (Member)
Mr. Dirrar Yusuf Al-Ghanim (Member)
Mr. Tarek Bader Salem Al-Mutawa (Member)
Mr. Talal Jasim Mohamed Al-Khorafi (Member)
Mr. Adel Essa Al-Yousifi (Member)
Mr. Abdullah Abdulltif Al-Shayaa (Member)
Mr. Abdulla Najeb Al-Mulla (Member)
Mr. Essa Ahmed Mohamed Al-Kandari (Member)
Mr. Fahed Yacoub Al-Jouaan (Member)
Mr. Mohammed Hamoud Zamel Al-Fajji (Member)
Mrs. Wafa Ahmed Al-Qatami (Member)
Mr. Rabah Abdulrehman Al-Rabah (Member)
Without doubt, the economic map of Kuwait would be very different and very much poorer without the influence of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
You can discover more about the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry at kuwaitchamber.org.kw
First published in Men's Passion issue #30 April 2011