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SIRAJ HATIM BHAI IN KUWAIT
Oil-rich Kuwait is a tiny country nestling at the top of the Gulf. Flanked by powerful neighbours Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, its strategic location and massive oil reserves make it one of the world's richest countries per capita.
With a population of 4.5 million people: 1.3 million are Kuwaitis and 3.2 million - 70% are expatriates.
One of those ex-pats is Indian born, Siraj Hatim Bhai, who along with his DIT colleagues, is based at the British Embassy in Kuwait.
The team of three Senior Trade Advisers, Senior Manager - Inward Investment, First Secretary -Defence & Security, Deputy Director and Director of Trade, cover a broad range of sectors such as Infrastructure, Oil and Gas, Healthcare, Food & Drink, Technology, Creative Industries, Education, Finance and Inward Investment, they work collaboratively to support British companies and identify opportunities which usually cuts across multiple sectors.
Siraj told Prosper, “I work within the team and I lead on Infrastructure, Smart Cities, Creative industries and a newly acquired sector of Agritech.
“I have been working with DIT Kuwait for the past 2.5 years, unlike other overseas posts, most of the locally engaged staff at the embassy are not Kuwaiti nationals. I come from India and have spent around 16+ years working in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
“Throughout this journey, I have gained experience in the field of facilities management, shipping, logistics and procurement, which helps me guide British companies to tap into the exciting opportunities that Kuwait has to offer.
“Historically, Kuwait was part of the Silk Route and a major trading hub which it is keen to live up to. Today bilateral trade between the UK and Kuwait stands at £3bn to date in goods and services and the country is implementing several projects under its ambitious oil diversification plan called Vision 2035.
“Projects such as a new university for 30 thousand students, state of art airport terminal for 25 million passengers, new megacities for its citizens and other supporting infrastructure are just a few examples of Kuwait’s development projects.”
BLACK COUNTRY BASED COMPANY WINS MULTI MILLION CONTRACT IN CAMEROON
West Safety UK Limited, a Black Country-based SME, has won a multimillion-pound contract to develop and deliver a major programme around roads and ports infrastructure safety in Cameroon.
The contract, signed with the Cameroon Ministry of Transportation (MINT), for a major safety programme across the country, has been funded by the World Bank.
Winning the contract during the Covid-19 pandemic, West Safety was faced with the decision to travel to Cameroon for the signing of the contract and commencement of the project, as required by the Government of Cameroon.
So, working closely with their local International Trade Adviser at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, Gerald La Touche, the company was able to plan with DIT Cameroon, along with the British High Commission Cameroon, to facilitate meetings with the Cameroon Ministry of Transport.
The Brierley Hill-based company provides a consultancy and advisory service in the areas of quality, health & safety, environmental (QHSE) management systems, audits, risk assessment and training, and, as a member of the British Standards Institution (BSI Group), and prides itself in developing high-quality programmes for delivering excellent QHSE management systems, for successful and sustainable business and development.
The Cameroon Ministry of Transportation (MINT) covers and works closely with the National Port Authority, Cameroon Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA), Cameroon National Shipper’s Council, Port Authority of Douala, Port Authority of Kribi, Aeroports du Cameroun SA (ADC SA) covering seven airports, Cameroon Airlines Corporation (Camair-co), Cameroon Railways (Camrail) and Cameroon Shipyard and Industrial engineers.
Working with their International Trade Adviser at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, since 2016, has helped the company to grow its business in West Africa. As a result, West Safety is now present in five West African countries.