The US’ Dow Chemical has appointed a high profile executive to oversee its operations in Kuwait, as the company seeks to repair its damaged relations in the country.

Markus Wildi, formerly president of Dow Europe, has taken on the newly-created role of vice-president of corporate development in Kuwait.

“Wildi’s appointment recognises the critical importance of Dow’s investments and relationship in Kuwait and reinforces Dow’s commitment to the country,” says Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Dow.

Dow holds a 42.5 per cent stake in Kuwaiti-based Equate Petrochemical Company, which produces the plastic polyethylene and the chemical ethylene glycol.

State-owned Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) also holds a 42.5 per cent stake in the company, while the local Boubyan Petrochemical Company and Qurain Petrochemical Company hold respective 9 per cent and 6 per cent interests.

In December 2008, Dow signed a deal to enter into a $17bn joint venture with PIC named KDow, but PIC was forced to cancel the deal later that month after increasing pressure from Kuwaiti parliamentarians.

Relations between Dow, PIC and the Kuwaiti government have since been strained, according to sources in the country, with Dow seeking $2.5bn in compensation after the collapse of the deal.