2009 Jean Lemierre, Advisor to the Chairman, visits Kuwait during the months of April and November and meets with senior government officials and regulators.

2010 BNP Paribas regional mandate is extended to the Middle East and South Africa for CIB.

2011 BNP Paribas regional mandate is extended to the Middle East and Africa for CIB.

2012 Baudouin Prot, BNP Paribas Chairman, visits Kuwait and meets with senior government officials and clients.

2013 Jacques d Estais, Head of Investment Solutions and member of the BNP Paribas Executive Committee, visits Kuwait and meets with government officials and clients.

Setting the stage for partnerships

Kuwait discovered oil at Burgan in 1938. Drilling rights were granted to the Kuwait Oil Company, owned by British Petroleum and the US-owned Gulf Oil Corporation. However, the United Kingdom, which wielded predominant political influence in the country, held pre-emptive rights over the oil produced.

The development of the region s sovereign wealth funds began in 1953, with the creation of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), established by the Kuwait government to preserve the country s wealth for future generations. Several other sovereign wealth funds were to follow as the Gulf States increased their revenues from hydrocarbons.

Kuwait became a British protectorate at the very end of the nineteenth century and gained independence in 1961. France recognised the country s sovereignty just a couple of months later. Diplomatic relations progressed rather slowly, however, and it was only in 1968, that French embassy-level representation in Kuwait was established.

Long before BNP Paribas established a permanent presence in Kuwait in 2005, the Bank s predecessors already had an enviable track record in the Gulf state that predicted the strength and endurance of the relationship that followed.

Prince Albert of Belgium (later King Albert II) led two Belgian trade missions to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in 1967, and returned to the region a decade later with further missions to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The Société Générale de Banque, a forerunner to BNP Paribas, took part in these missions, the purpose of which was to promote Belgian exports to the Gulf States.

The following year in April 1968, Claude de Kémoularia, advisor on international affairs to the President and the Chief Executive Officer of Paribas, visited Kuwait with a senior executive of the Bank, Michel François-Poncet, in order to properly assess the potential for Paribas to develop a business in the country, which was rapidly becoming a major

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