In conversation with the Ambassador of Kuwait

29 Oct 2013

Over  fifty SMU students preparing to embark on their Business Study Mission (BSM) to the Middle East in December had the privilege of engaging  with the Ambassador of Kuwait at SMU on 23 October 2013.

His Excellency Abdulaziz AlAdwani, Ambassador of the Embassy of the State of Kuwait in Singapore took time off his busy schedule to meet the students  for an informal dialogue lasting over an hour in the University Lounge. He first made a brief presentation on the economic, social and political development of the nation, before answering several detailed questions.

The ambassador was invited as a speaker of the BSM Guest Lecture Series, which forms part of the BSM Middle East curriculum. Programme participant and Social Sciences undergraduate Joel Tan explained, “The purpose of the lectures is to glean important insights from experts who know first-hand about the interesting developments in the Gulf region. What is unique about these lectures is that students get to hear very diverse perspectives about doing business in the Middle East from Singaporean business leaders, state officials and ambassadors from the Gulf. The Kuwaiti ambassador’s visit is one of the key highlights of the lecture series.”

During the dialogue session, students asked the Ambassador about Kuwait’s relationship with other Middle Eastern states and the US, the political system, and about the influence of religion in the country. They also asked how best to spend their spare time, where to find the best food, best shopping and how to immerse themselves in the local culture? The Ambassador gave open, honest and insightful answers to each question.

The Mission will visit the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in December. The 12-day trip is part of a 15-week programme which examines the rapidly developing business environment and the available opportunities in the member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The programme of case studies, student projects, and guest lectures places a particular emphasis on the social-political, cultural, legal environments, and the influence they exert on business practices. Joel says, “I am reading more about the region, to understand the developments taking place in recent months. Especially since the Free Trade Agreement between Singapore and the Gulf has been recently signed, I’m keeping track of the developments.”

On the trip, they can look forward to visiting over 30 companies, meeting Singaporean entrepreneurs who have established businesses in the Middle East as well as business leaders of Arab countries. However, what Joel says he is looking forward to most is “The opportunity to immerse myself in the culture! The richness of the Arabic and Islamic culture fascinates me, and it would be a joy to gain greater appreciation of it.”

Main photo: His Excellency Abdulaziz AlAdwani, Ambassador of the Embassy of the State of Kuwait (on stage, L) in the dialogue session with participants of the Business Study Mission (BSM) to the Middle East 2013.

Below: Ambassador Abdulaziz AlAdwani (seated, L) with Professor Francis Koh, Vice Provost (Special Projects, Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB) (seated, R), participating students and others supporting the BSM.

Last updated on 30 Oct 2013.

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