To what extent are your Reality H FFMS and Trainer Stations improving Reality H FFMS and Trainer Stations activities?
Thales' Reality H FFMS simulator has been in service throughout the world, providing helicopter pilots with the required training to handle complex civilian missions. Through our military-ready version of the Reality H FFMS, which we provided to the Kuwaiti Armed Forces in 2017, we have been able to offer invaluable support to train a number of users on the latest fleet of helicopters. In creating an ultra-realistic tactical and visual environment, we are able to train pilots in a variety of emergency scenarios that cannot be easily accomplished on real helicopters.
In what ways is Thales collaborating with local authorities in Kuwait?
Thales has been present in Kuwait for over 30 years and has developed excellent working relationships with a number of authorities across the country. For example, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Kuwait Armed Forces are our long-standing partners. Thales is supporting the Kuwait Vision 2035 and is committed to accompanying the Kuwaiti government in its infrastructure modernization plan as a long-term, trusted partner.
What business strategy is Thales implementing in Kuwait and how is the company ensuring to capture a bigger market share?
By building on our decades-long presence in Kuwait and aligning with Kuwait's Vision 2035, our objectives are clear: we want to be a key pillar for competitiveness and growth in the country by developing our local expertise (industrial operations and services). We also want to contribute to the dynamics of Kuwait, by promoting and enhancing creativity, agility and nurturing our talent by fostering diversity. We align with Kuwait in terms of development, localization, industrialization, innovation, digitalization, agility, reactiveness, and homogeneity. Finally, we wish to strengthen our relationship with clients in defense, civil aviation, space, and aerospace.
What makes Kuwait an attractive destination for Thales' activities?
The government is ambitiously steering toward achieving the country's vision 2035 of 'New Kuwait' with a strong focus on infrastructure development. The vision includes a digital component with the transformation of Kuwait toward an ICT Hub and the development of the e-government project for the justice sector. As such, we have seen heavy investment in new technology supported by the government as an early consumer of new technologies. This ecosystem is one that aligns with our strategy and offering as Thales is a recognized leader in digital solutions across a number of sectors and has proven technology that can aide governments in their transition toward a 'digital first' world.
What areas of opportunities exist for Thales in Kuwait?
As Kuwait begins its diversification away from oil, the government is addressing its infrastructure development and tourism opportunities. With this, we see huge opportunities in the development of ports and specifically with the modernization of the airspace environment. In addition, the redevelopment of Northern Kuwait can potentially bring more opportunities. In line with Kuwait's Vision 2035, the government is keen to create a fertile hub for international foreign investments across the nation.
What are your expectations for the year ahead?
According to the IMF, the Kuwaiti economy is set to expand by 2.9% in 2019, following growth of 1.7% in 2018. This is a clear indicator that the Kuwaiti economy is robust considering the decline in oil prices. As a result, we are incredibly optimistic for the year ahead due to the number of projects in the pipeline coupled with the country's financial outlook. In addition, we are seeing that Kuwait's non-oil activity is supported by a healthy labor market and a large infrastructure push. Kuwait's fertile economy coupled with strong financial growth forecasts further cements its status as a regional powerhouse. We are delighted to be working hand-in-hand with Kuwait and its people to move forward in realizing Vision 2035. We are excited for what the future holds in 2019 and beyond.