KUWAIT: Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has participated in the International Financial Cooperation Forum 2019 which is holding during the second edition of China International Imports Expo in Shanghai. The Forum has received high attention from Chinese president Xi Jinping and relevant government leaders of the People’s Republic of China, relevant dignitaries from around the world, global businesses, Chinese and foreign financial cooperation organizations.

The forum has witnessed the gathering of official delegations, financial industry experts and representatives of the world top 500 enterprises from 155 countries to discuss the future development trends of the global economy, focusing on the topics of “International Financial Innovation Cooperation”, “Digital Finance Innovation Development”, “Future Banks” and “Breakthrough in Science and Technology Finance”.
KFH high-level delegation was headed by the Group Chief Executive Officer Mazin Al Nahedh, Group Chief Treasury Officer Abdulwahab Al Rushood, and Group Chief Strategy Officer Eng Fahad Al Mukhaizeem. KFH’s participation comes within the framework of active presence in major economic events, exchange of expertise and knowledge with major international financial institutions, and discussion of issues and topics related to the banking sector.

The KFH delegation met with a number of Chinese officials in the banking and commercial sectors to discuss ways of cooperation and enhance the exchange of knowledge and expertise and reinforce economic and trade relations between the two sides. In his speech, Al Nahedh said that China and Kuwait enjoy close friendship and strong strategic partnership. Such a relationship has flourished over the years in political, economic, investment, commercial, and cultural fields.

He added that the two countries’ partnership plays a vital role in integrating Kuwait’s “New Kuwait 2035” Vision with China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. “In July 2018, His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah paid a state visit to China. The visit played an important role in developing China-Kuwait relations with the two countries agreeing to establish a strategic partnership to open up new prospects.” Al Nahedh mentioned.

The partnership between Kuwait and China is reflected in some interesting numbers, he said, pointing out that by the end of 2018, the total number of projects undertaken by the Chinese companies in Kuwait was around 120 with a total value of more than 21 billion dollars. On the bilateral trade between China and Kuwait, Al Nahedh said that it reached about $19 billion in 2018, up 55 percent year on year. Currently, China is the largest exporter to and second largest importer from Kuwait. China is also Kuwait’s largest non-oil trading partner. “In addition, Kuwait is China’s ninth largest source of crude oil imports.” He said.

Closer relations
Al Nahedh said:” As the relationship between China and Kuwait is getting closer, Kuwaiti banking sector can gain from increasing number of Chinese EPC companies winning mega projects in Kuwait, such as the new city development, the Silk City project and many others). Kuwaiti banking sector can also gain from setting up of communication channels to discuss strategic approaches.” On the other hand, he pointed out that Chinese banks can gain from experiences of reputable banks such as Kuwait Finance House. Furthermore, he said that Chinese banks can benefit from the strategic support for long-term business development between the two banks and the two countries.

Technology and leadership
“As China is home to some of the largest technology companies in the world and a tech giant, I would like to point out that Kuwait Finance House (KFH) is able to benefit from the Chinese experience. ” Al Nahedh explained. He added that KFH offers advanced banking services, it also invests heavily in financial technology and embraces innovation through partnering with Fintech companies as part of KFH Capitals investments, the investment arm of KFH Group. Al Nahedh said that Kuwait Finance House applies Artificial Intelligence AI, in accordance with the highest levels of security, quality and professionalism. It has been a pioneer in leveraging blockchain. It applied this technology in instant cross-border remittance service using Ripples blockchain technology. All these confirm that KFH is keeping abreast of the latest financial technology and is fully aware of the importance of adapting to change and building partnerships with BigTech across the world, in China, Asia, USA and Europe.
“KFH released the first fully automated 24hr digital self-service branches in Kuwait under the theme of KFH-Go, showing the emphasis on convenience and higher levels of service quality. Most importantly, KFH was among the first to deploy a cross border remittance service with RippleNet, putting KFH at the forefront of innovation in the region as KFH taps into blockchain technology as an enabler for its growth.” He added.

Successful strategy
“As one of the largest banks in the Middle East, KFH’s successful strategy is based on the highest and the best international standards, including competing in a constantly evolving environment, integrating innovative solutions and banking technology into operational processes, launching digital transformation initiatives and rearranging products and services to suit the needs and nature of key operational sectors.
“Al Nahedh revealed. He added that KFH aspires to apply Robotics in all its banking processes and lead the way to build the best digital bank in the Middle East, both in the systems it uses and the services it provides to customers. Therefore, KFH looks forward to exploring possible opportunities for cooperation with China in the field of banking technology.

In conclusion, Al Nahedh expressed his thanks to the organizers of the International Financial Cooperation Forum 2019, noting that such events could help to explore more opportunities between China and Arab countries, especially Kuwait. As a Guest of Honor, Kuwait participated in the forum with a delegation headed by Kuwait’s Ambassador to China Samih Hayat, head of the Kuwait Investment Office in Shanghai, Abdul Razzaq Al-Baeijan, and a number of representatives of local Kuwaiti banks and businessmen. The Kuwaiti delegation, including KFH, was honored on the sidelines of the conference.