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KUWAIT - Economy

Antonio Campos

President, Portuguese Business Council of Kuwait

Bio

Antonio Campos is currently President and cofounder of the Portuguese Business Council Kuwait, and at the same time, General Manager at Abyar/Agm contracting company in Kuwait. Recently, he became Advisory Board Member of the Consulate at the Embassy of Portugal in Abu Dhabi. He spent most of his professional life in a multidisciplinary international experience in countries like Spain, Iraq and Saudi Arabia and he has been in Kuwait for the last seven years. Aware of the importance of global business, Antonio is focused and committed with the Portuguese Business Council Kuwait. The PBCK is associate to the RCCP, the network of Portuguese Business Councils and Chambers of Commerce outside Portugal, and AICEP, the Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency. Through his love to Portugal and Kuwait, Antonio is known for helping, encouraging, and developing business opportunities between Portuguese and Kuwaiti companies by introducing Portuguese companies, their goods and services to the Kuwaiti market and promoting trade relations between Portuguese companies and businessmen in Kuwait. Antonio holds a bachelor’s in business philosophy degree from Catolica University, and Master’s degree in Political Science from Minho University, he also holds an Executive Engineering MBA from the University ESAI Lisbon which tailored him to be a practical and business-oriented entrepreneur.

"The know-how of Portugal in renewable energy, combined with the experience of Kuwait in the energy sector, could be a good partnership between both countries to develop a sustainable, more green and better future."
TBY talks to Antonio Campos, President of the Portuguese Business Council of Kuwait, about Vision 2035, recent developments in the economy, and focuses for the short term.
What makes Kuwait an attractive market for an international company?

Kuwait has been attracting international attention for the momentum of its transformation taking place under the ‘Vision 2035’ initiative which aims to transform Kuwait into a world-class financial and commercial Hub. In line with ‘Vision 2035’, Kuwait has streamlined its regulations to attract foreign capital to invest in many sectors. I can clearly state that progress is taking place. Thanks to the constituent components of investors, government, and private companies advancing in the same direction, the Kuwaiti market will continuously become more sustainable and stronger. Personal relationships, patience, persistence, and a strong local presence are crucial for success in Kuwait. From my perspective, Kuwait is the land of many opportunities.

Considering the recent developments in the Kuwaiti economy what opportunities do you see for Portuguese companies wanting to enter the local market?

I can’t say that there are recent developments but there are consequences from the continuous effort and commitment to implement the ‘’Kuwait Vison Plan’’ that drive Kuwait towards the success. The New Kuwait Vison 2035 is a very ambitious plan that touches all the main areas to assist the political, social and economic prosperity of the Country. I believe that Portugal with its entrepreneur DNA is able to contribute with their knowledge on some of them: training and sharing best practices; as we have a long coastline (850km) we are able to share our experience; in terms of renewable energies, Portugal has been doing a relevant work with several projects spread all over the country, among others. Kuwait and Portugal historical are countries of navigators and this is a good starting point to establish new expeditions! There is for sure room for many mutually beneficial partnerships between Portuguese and Kuwait companies to explore business opportunities that contribute to diversify Kuwait’s economy. Portugal welcomes Kuwait investment and supports any Kuwait companies, on the other hand, Kuwait is a great opportunity for the Portuguese companies. The PBCK is also keen to help in that effort by exchanging experiences with Kuwait authorities and the private sector.

What will the Portuguese Business Council focus on in the coming months?

Following our objectives and from a more economic point of view, we have been showing to Kuwait public organizations and private authorities, some of the reasons for local entrepreneurs to invest in Portugal: access to the European market (more than 500 million people); bridge to Portuguese-speaking markets (260 million people); stable democracy and political stability; the 3rd most peaceful country in the world (according to the Global Peace Index); high level of infrastructures (Portugal is the 21st country in the world with better infrastructures according to the Global Competitiveness Report); attractive incentives for foreign investors; highly-qualified labour force; immigrant friendly environment; among others. Portugal is a trendy country for millennials and a lot of international companies and startups are choosing Portugal to expand or establish their businesses. It is an attractive and competitive country for international companies due to the high level of education and the ability of the Portuguese to speak languages. We can assure that Portugal is fashionable and its fashion. The country is famous for its shoes, textiles and jewelry, moreover, the home sector, like furniture, is gaining more and more attention due to its modern design and excellent quality. Those reasons make Portugal a good place to start up a company satellite office. On the other hand, Portuguese entrepreneurs can contribute and invest in Kuwait through KDIPA or local partnership with public and private entities, mainly in the fields of Industry, Energy, Construction, and Tourism. Portugal has a well-diversified economy with relevant industries and companies with a strong tradition of establishing abroad. The know-how of Portugal in renewable energy, combined with the experience of Kuwait in the energy sector, could be a good partnership between both countries to develop a sustainable, greener, and better future. We are excited as things finally come together! Glad to see Kuwait Government, all the institution, the private sector and international organization like the UNDP or The World Bank  we are finally aligned in the goals and we are committed in making Kuwait economy system sustainable, affordable and secured. In this regard a tribute to the The General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development for taking the Kuwait Vision plan forward.

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