Kuwait News



KFH’s “Forsa Program” trainees in Silicon Valley.

KUWAIT: As part of its “Forsa Program”, Kuwait Finance House (KFH) delegated a group of its outstanding Kuwaiti employees to Silicon Valley in the USA to enhance their innovative digital mindset and creativity in digitization, IT, FinTech, AI, blockchain and cybersecurity.

Forsa Program with its rich content comes in line with KFH directions and its strategic plans to reinforce its leadership in digitization, which has become essential in its various activities and business, and to embrace national talents, upgrade their professional level and refine their skills according to international standards.

Forsa Program includes advanced training programs, workshops and field visits to the largest and most prominent global technology firms such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, Ripple, among others. The employees also visited laboratories of digital transformation in prominent American universities such as the University of Berkeley in California, as well as the Innovation Center in Silicon Valley, BNP Paribas and other international institutions and prestigious FinTech companies.

In addition to extensive field visits to Microsoft- Turkey, the employees also visited the digital pioneer KFH-Turkey, which contains research and innovation centers as well as teams of hundreds of engineers, where Forsa trainees learn about artificial intelligence products, process automation, the smart branch, financing E-commerce, customer loyalty analysis, data science, and digital applications which are among many programs designed to promote digital innovation in financial technology in trainees.

The trainees praised the importance of the program and its added value, which will be reflected in their performance at KFH by implementing ideas that will contribute to developing and facilitating operations and designing digital services and products to keep pace with the millennial generation requirements and confirm KFH’s excellence and leadership in digitalization, online services and financial technology.

They pointed out that the most important characteristic of the program is the practical technical projects that have been implemented away from the traditional academic lecture as well as the methods of digital transformation of global institutions and the motivating creative work environment culture. They also learned how to avoid the traditional mentality of thinking, the flexible and agile performance within a culture of change and continuous innovation, while accelerating and simplifying all operations and making them available online.

Moreover, Forsa program includes outstanding young Kuwaiti graduates from the technology departments of local and international universities. It also features training programs on the latest and best information technology and its applications in the banking field.

The program develops the trainees’ capabilities in the interests of KFH and its customers, enabling them to keep pace with the international levels in expertise, skills, and knowledge of the development of banking operations and the business in its broad sense. This enriches the employee’s experience and professional development and enhances the leadership spirit of the young Kuwaiti.

Source: Kuwait times

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Cabinet on Monday approved a draft law to pay frontline workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic a total of KD 600 million ($1.99 billion) in special bonuses for their efforts and sacrifices to tame a local outbreak that has killed 1,298 people as of Monday.

The green-lit draft law will now be submitted to His Highness the Amir, pending its passage through parliament, Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Sabah said in a statement following the Cabinet’s weekly meeting, presided over by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

His Highness the Premier briefed the Cabinet about His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s directives related to the political developments in Kuwait particularly those related to Tuesday’s important parliament session. Fresh off his return from abroad for medical care, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf has stressed the “urgent need” for constructive cooperation between the Cabinet and lawmakers, a day before state ministers were due to take oath of office before parliament.

Bearing the nation’s best interests in mind, the government should be given adequate time to assume its immense responsibilities to bring national ambitions to fruition, particularly at this time of upheaval wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, His Highness the Amir added.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet reviewed the government’s plan of action for the 16th legislative term (2021/2022 – 2024/25). In this regard, Finance Minister Khalifa Hamada said the government’s plan is designed to focus on sustained development in the face of a myriad of challenges brought by the pandemic, a notion that fits into the country’s ‘New Kuwait Vision 2035’ economic diversification plan. The plan, which garnered Cabinet approval, comprises objectives that aim to help shape the future of Kuwait, chief among them efforts to develop human capital, improve infrastructure and allow the private sector a bigger platform to contribute towards national development, the minister explained.

Drive-thru station
On Kuwait’s latest COVID-19 data, Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah informed the Cabinet that hospital admissions and the number of people needing critical care remain on an upward trajectory, while the recovery rate has now reached 93 percent. Looking to accelerate the national rollout of COVID-19 shots, the Cabinet approved the Health ministry request to open a new drive-thru vaccination station near Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah Causeway, urging his compatriots and expatriates alike to get inoculated and march towards “herd immunity.”

The Cabinet also looked over a report prepared by an economic affairs committee over plans to put in place an alluring business environment in Kuwait that would allow it to improve its position in global investor rankings, calling for efforts across state bodies to achieve that goal.

On the political front, the Cabinet heaped praise on neighboring Saudi Arabia for a major tree-planting drive the kingdom had unveiled, which aims to combat pollution and reduce carbon emissions, a matter that featured heavily in a recent phone call between His Highness the Amir and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

It gave due praise to Riyadh for a peace initiative the kingdom presented to end Yemen’s war, including a nationwide ceasefire and the reopening of air and sea links, while it strongly condemned the “terrorist” Houthi militia’s continued attacks on civilian sites in Saudi Arabia.

The Cabinet equally deplored a suicide bomb attack on a Catholic church in the Indonesian city of Makassar, emphasizing that “all forms of terrorism and violence” are vehemently rejected. In Egypt, the Cabinet expressed its sympathies over the victims of a train crash and an apartment building collapse there, which collectively killed and wounded scores of people.

On a more cheerful note, the Cabinet applauded Egyptian authorities for overseeing operations to re-float a mammoth container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week, restoring traffic in one of the world’s most strategic chokepoints. – KUNA

KUWAIT: A fire that occurred in the tire dump in Salmi yesterday was deliberate, Kuwait Fire Force (KFF) announced. Firemen from the Shaqaya, vocational Jahra and backup fire stations had brought the blaze under control after isolating the burning tires, KFF explained. No injuries were reported, it added, noting that Kuwait Municipality bulldozers were used in fighting the fire. “After investigating and collecting information by the firefighters, it turned out to be a work of arson,” KFF said in a statement to the press.

Later yesterday, another fire broke out in a warehouse that belongs to the Abdali Co-op Society, which prompted five fire stations to respond since the flames extended to an area of over 3,000 square meters. Firemen were able to put the fire under control as an investigation went underway to determine the cause of the fire. No injuries were reported in the incident, KFF said.

KUWAIT: Amid expectations that the health ministry will start vaccinating employees in the education and university sectors, the education ministry renewed its call for teachers and school employees to register on the vaccination platform. This coincided with a health ministry announcement that the percentage of those from the teaching and administrative departments who registered on the platform reached 50 percent of the total number of employees the education ministry had given, Al-Jarida Arabic daily reported yesterday.

Educational sources said the health ministry told the education ministry that employees at government and private schools have priority in receiving the vaccine, as they were included with frontline workers who are currently being inoculated. Meanwhile, health sources said the health ministry will start vaccinating those in the education sector next week, including teachers, administrators, technicians, laborers and others, in addition to employees of universities and the higher education ministry, estimating their number to be over 100,000.

Source: Kuwait Times

KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah chairs the Cabinet’s meeting yesterday. – KUNA

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The Cabinet yesterday slightly eased the nightly curfew to 11 hours and exempted vaccinated travelers from institutional quarantine. In a statement following its weekly meeting, the Cabinet said the nightly curfew imposed two weeks ago to curb a spike in coronavirus cases will now extend from 6 pm to 5 am the next day, instead of 12 hours. The new decision is effective from today.

The Cabinet also allowed deliveries by restaurants and cafes to continue until 10 pm and allowed walking from 6 pm to 8 pm daily, provided people remain in their areas and do not use vehicles. The Cabinet also replaced hotel quarantine with home quarantine for travelers who have been vaccinated.

Travelers who have taken two doses of the vaccine at least two weeks ago or those who took just one dose five weeks ago will be asked to spend only seven days in home quarantine. The same applies to people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have taken one vaccine dose two weeks ago. All the three categories must undergo a coronavirus test on the seventh day of the quarantine and produce a negative result.

Students studying abroad only need to produce a certificate from their universities to be exempted from hotel quarantine, the Cabinet said. Expats who have valid residencies in Kuwait continue to be barred from entering the country since a ban was placed on Feb 7. Only foreign diplomats and medical staff and their families are exempted from the ban. MP Khaled Al-Otaibi called on the government to abolish hotel quarantine altogether and accused authorities of introducing it to benefit merchants at the cost of people.

Meanwhile, the government yesterday sent a draft law proposing financial support for small and big businessmen affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The bill stipulates that local banks will provide loans at reduced interest to businessmen harmed by the pandemic, provided the loans are used to support the companies’ operations like payment of salaries.

The loans must be repaid in easy installments over seven years for small businesses and four years for big merchants, while the government will bear part of the interest on the loans. The Assembly’s legal and legislative committee meanwhile approved a draft law to delay the repayment of loans for six months, while the financial and economic affairs panel approved a series of bills calling to aid small and medium businesses harmed by the coronavirus.

Source: KuwaitTimes

KUWAIT: US Ambassador to Kuwait Alina Romanowski is seen during her visit to Al-Abdaliya Nature Reserve.

KUWAIT: US Ambassador to Kuwait Alina L Romanowski visited the Kuwait Oil Company’s (KOC) Al-Abdaliya Nature Reserve on Thursday, and was welcomed by KOC’s Public Relations and Information Group Manager Mohammed Al-Basri. The Ambassador’s visit comes as part of the United States’ wider efforts to cooperate with countries around the world in addressing various environmental and climate change issues.

“The US is engaging with partners around the world to ask: how can we all do more?” Ambassador Romanowski said. “The threats to our environment are real, and I’m looking forward to working with more agencies in Kuwait on joint collaboration activities.” “KOC is making all possible efforts to preserve the environment in Kuwait,” said Basri. “These efforts, which have been ongoing for decades, have been strengthened recently thanks to the many partnerships we have entered into, most notably the Global Partnership with the World Bank.”

Located 50 kilometers west of Kuwait City, the protected area aims to preserve Kuwait’s native ecosystem and restore life and biodiversity to the desert. During her tour, Ambassador Romanowski learned about the environmental protection efforts at the reserve. “The Al-Abdaliya Nature reserve is one of several operated by KOC to support environmental sustainability,” Ambassador Romanowski said. “The US Embassy will continue to support Kuwait in these endeavors by sharing American expertise and best practices on environmental policy, sustainability, climate change, and more.”

“The Abdaliya reserve project is part of KOC’s wider objectives to transform the area into one distinguished by its biological diversity and that contributes to enhancing Kuwait’s environment,” Basri added. Earlier this year, Ambassador Romanowski joined Kuwait Environment Public Authority Director Sheikh Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah for a visit to the Al-Jahra Nature Reserve. Last September, Ambassador Romanowski also participated in a World Cleanup Day event sponsored by Alnowair at Jahra Sanctuary in Al-Khuwaisat to help raise awareness of environmental protection.

The US Embassy in Kuwait organized several initiatives in the last few years to increase awareness about environmental protection and climate change. Several air quality speakers visited Kuwait through the State Department’s US Speakers Program to highlight issues related to air pollution. The embassy also engaged with local schools to organize recycling drives and promoted the large-scale Our Ocean Conference in Kuwait, an initiative spearheaded by former US Secretary of State John Kerry.


کویت کے وزیر خارجہ شیخ ڈاکٹر احمد ناصر المحمد الصباح کی وزارتِ خارجہ میں وفد کے ہمراہ وزیر خارجہ مخدوم شاہ محمود قریشی سے ملاقات
وزیرخارجہ نے کویتی وزیر خارجہ اور ان کے وفد کو وزارتِ خارجہ تشریف آوری پر خوش آمدید کہا۔ وزیر خارجہ نے کویتی وزیر خارجہ کو دوبارہ منصب سنبھالنے پر مبارکباد دی۔
اس موقع پر وزیر خارجہ مخدوم شاہ محمود قریشی نے کہا کہ پاکستان کویت کے ساتھ اپنے دو طرفہ تعلقات خصوصی اہمیت دیتا ہے۔ ایک لاکھ سے زائد پاکستانی کویت میں مقیم ہیں جو کویت کی تعمیر و ترقی میں اپنا مثبت کردار ادا کر رہے ہیں۔ ہم نے اپنی جغرافیائی سیاسی ترجیحات کو جغرافیائی معاشی ترجیحات میں تبدیل کیا ہے۔ جنوری میں کویت کے اسسٹنٹ فارن منسٹر پاکستان تشریف لائے ان کے ساتھ کثیر الجہتی شعبہ جات میں دو طرفہ تعاون کے فروغ کے حوالے سے مفید گفتگو ہوئی۔ ہم پاکستان اور کویت کے مابین پانچویں مشترکہ وزاراتی کمیشن کے جلد انعقاد کے خواہشمند ہیں۔
ان کا مزید کہنا تھا کہ پاکستان، کویت کے ساتھ دو طرفہ تجارت کے حجم میں اضافے کا خواہاں ہے۔ پاکستان خلیج تعاون کونسل کے ارکان کے درمیان بہتر تعلقات کیلئے کویت کے مثبت کردار کو تسلیم کرتا ہے۔ ہم بیرونی سرمایہ کاروں کو کاروبار میں سرمایہ کاری کے لیے خصوصی سہولیات فراہم کر رہے ہیں -اسی وجہ سے کاروبار میں سہولت فراہم کرنے والے ممالک کے حوالے سے پاکستان کی درجہ بندی میں کافی حد تک بہتری آئی ہے۔ ہم کویتی کاروباری کمپنیوں کو پاکستان میں سرمایہ کاری کیلئے خوش آمدید کہیں گے۔ پاکستان اور کویت کے مابین توانائی، صحت،ٹیکنالوجی، تعلیم اور دفاع کے شعبے میں دو طرفہ اقتصادی تعاون کے فروغ کے حوالے سے وسیع مواقع موجود ہیں۔
ہمیں توقع ہے کہ کویت اسلاموفوبیا کے بڑھتے ہوئے رجحان کے خاتمے اور بین المذاہب ہم آہنگی کے فروغ کیلئے، 15 مارچ کو اسلاموفوبیا کے خلاف عالمی دن "کے طور پر منانے کی تجویز کو آگے بڑھانے میں معاونت کریگا، مخدوم شاہ محمود قریشی
وزیر خارجہ نے کویتی ہم منصب کو مقبوضہ جموں و کشمیر میں جاری انسانی حقوق کی سنگین خلاف ورزیوں اور علاقائی امن کو درپیش خطرات سے آگاہ کیا۔ انہون نے کہا کہ ہندوستان، نے مقبوضہ جموں و کشمیر کے 80 لاکھ نہتے مسلمانوں کی زندگیوں کو اجیرن بنا رکھا ہے۔ بھارت، ڈومیسائل قوانین میں ترمیم کے ذریعے مقبوضہ جموں و کشمیر میں آبادیاتی تناسب کو تبدیل کرنا چاہتا ہے۔ بھارت کے یہ اقدامات عالمی قوانین اور اقوام متحدہ کی قراردادوں کے منافی ہیں۔ پاکستان، مقبوضہ جموں و کشمیر کے لاکھوں شہریوں کو بھارتی استبداد سے نجات دلانے کیلئے کویت سمیت عالمی برادری سے مثبت کردار کا متقاضی ہے۔
وزیر خارجہ نے نیامے نائجر میں منعقدہ او آئی سی وزرائے خارجہ کونسل کے اجلاس کے موقع پر کشمیر کے حوالے سے قرارداد کی حمایت پر کویتی حکومت کا شکریہ ادا کیا۔
ملاقات میں وزیر خارجہ نے کہا کہ پاکستان، افغانستان میں قیام امن کیلئے اپنا مصالحانہ کردار خلوص نیت سے ادا کرتا چلا آ رہا ہے جسے عالمی سطح پر سراہا جا رہا ہے۔ پاکستان، افغانستان سمیت پورے خطے میں امن و امان کیلئے اپنی کاوشیں بروئے کار لاتا رہے گا۔ پاکستان مسلمان ممالک کے درمیان یکجہتی کو مضبوط بنانے کیلئے کویت کی کوششوں کا حامی ہے۔
کویتی وزیر خارجہ نے پرتپاک خیر مقدم پر وزیر خارجہ کا شکریہ ادا کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ کویت، پاکستان کے ساتھ اقتصادی تعلقات کے فروغ کا متمنی ہے۔ انہون نے کہا کہ کویت کی تعمیر و ترقی میں، کویت میں مقیم پاکستانی کمیونٹی، کا کردار قابل تحسین ہے۔
کویتی وزیر خارجہ کے دورے سے دونوں ممالک کے درمیان تعلقات اور مختلف شعبہ جات میں بڑھتے ہوئے دو طرفہ تعاون کو مزید تقویت حاصل ہوگی

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