New industrial facilities in Sohar and across the country have prompted Oman’s gov-ernment to intensify efforts to help open channels of export for its business folk
Oman embarked on a new initiative to ramp up its exports of industrial goods with a visit to India by entrepreneurs and business ex-ecutives.
Business ties between Oman and India have been fruitful and the sultanate believes the potential exists for further exports consider-ing its industrial production from petrochemicals to metals has risen significantly in recent years, particularly with investments at Sohar port.
A delegation comprising 14 high-profile Omani exporters took part in a four-day Ithraa-led visit to explore new business and in-vestment opportunities in India.
Ithraa is a government-run, ‘ISO and Investor in People’ certified inward investment and export promotion agency.
The visit covered New Delhi and Mumbai. It kicked off in New Delhi with a business seminar and B2B meetings with Indian im-porters, agents and manufacturers all in an effort to develop new business opportunities and strengthen existing trade and invest-ment ties in food processing, petrochemicals and plastics, said a statement.
India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and has emerged as a key destination for foreign investors and exporters in recent years. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India will grow by 7.5 per cent this fiscal year (which ends March 2016), faster than China over a similar period, the statement said.
Companies and organisations that participated on the Ithraa-led trade mission were: Oman State General Reserve Fund, Sohar Port & Free Zone, Public Establishment for Industrial Estates, Bright Sun Dates Production, Nizwa Food Industries, Sea Pride LLC, Mod-ern Diary Factory, Al-Bahja Group of Companies, Sohar Sulphur Fertiliser, Techno Plastic Industry, Poly Products, Al-Tuhami Group, Taghleef Industries, Al Shamal Plastics and The Modern Stitch Enterprise.
As a follow-up to the delegation’s visit to New Delhi and Mumbai, Ithraa will organise an investment forum with Indian business-es on October 12 and 13, in Oman’s capital, Muscat.
Ayman Al Hasani, vice chairman, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Ithraa board member, said: “India has always been on Ithraa’s investment and export radar. Its strategic and geographic location, entrepreneurial business culture, historic trading ties with the sultanate and fast growing economy provides significant potential for Omani exporters.”
Accompanying the trade delegation, Nasima Al Balushi, director general of export development at Ithraa, said: “The key objective of the mission is to introduce our New Delhi and Mumbai hosts to a range of high-quality, Oman-made products.”
“Today, goods made in Oman are sold in 136 countries and enjoy a strong international reputation for quality and luxury. Indeed, the Omani companies participating on this trade visit are looking to explore the incredible commercial opportunities on offer in India,” she said at the time.
Ibrahim Al Hoqani of Nizwa Food Industries, and a delegate on the New Delhi and Mumbai visit, said: “We are grateful to Ithraa for organising this important export initiative. The B2B meetings are a perfect opportunity for us to meet with potential buyers as well as get a better understanding of the consumer trends driving India’s food sector.”
He said trade visits were invaluable to Omani businesses looking to penetrate markets.
“To realise our potential there has to be a focused and collaborative approach from the government and business community en-suring we are united in taking every opportunity to support Omani exporters in markets such as India. This trade mission is a great example of public-private collaboration.” Al Hoqani said.
Ithraa, meanwhile, has formed an Export Club with the support of the Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry and leading local businesses.
The club has been designed to provide local businesses with a network to export as well as tackle challenges facing those wishing to ship their products to international destinations.
Al Balushi remarked: “Omani exporters face a range of challenges in today’s increasingly competitive global market. The challeng-es include exchange rates, transport, communication, raw material costs, design, marketing, training, technology and logistics. The Export Club has been created to help local non-oil exporters tackle these issues, prosper and grow internationally. I firmly believe that exporting is good for Omani business, workers and good for generating jobs for Omanis. When Oman exports, Oman prospers.”
Ithraa was set to hold a full-day Trade Up seminar for a large business crowd late last month at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The agen-da included a discussion of the role of export procedures, rules and certificates of origin.
“Our Trade Up Seminars are designed to help Omani SMEs network and guide them on how to improve their exports or export for the first time. We’ve been running these sessions for over a year and they’ve proven to be very popular with Omani exporters and manufacturers,” said Al Balushi.
Ithraa said that considering two-thirds of growth in global trade is coming from new entrants, there is a constant de-mand for business advice and support in breaking into the world’s high growth market economies and overcoming barriers.