Muscat – HE Eng. Ahmed Al Dheeb, Under Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry joined manufacturers and business leaders on Sunday to kick off Oman Export Week (OEW19) at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.
“We were delighted to have HE Eng. Ahmed Al Dheeb join us at the OEW19 inauguration as he's been a champion for Omani manufacturers for many years and clearly understands how important manufacturing and non-oil exports are to the sultanate's economy,” said Nasima Al Balushi, Director General, Investment & Export at Ithraa and organizer of OEW19.
Sponsored by SV Pittie Sohar Textiles and ASYAD, OEW19 will focus on topics that include product design, packaging, branding, M-commerce and the importance of social media in helping Omani businesses up their game and reach larger international audiences.
Ithraa’s Director General pointed out that Oman's manufacturers play a crucial role in communities right across the sultanate, creating new and sustainable jobs, and helping accelerate Oman's ambitious economic plans. Employing over 240,000 people, non-oil exports in 2018 reached US$9.7bn up from US$8.2bn in 2017.
"We're living in a digital age where borders no longer matter. In fact, the word multinational has long been associated with the world's largest companies. But today, that label no longer carries the same meaning. With platforms such as Instagram and eBay giving start-ups the opportunity to reach markets worldwide, every Omani manufacturer, no matter their size, has the potential to become a multinational," explained Al Balushi.
Delivered by local and international experts, the five full-day OEW19 workshops will expose local businesses to the trends driving today's sophisticated export markets. Whether companies are taking their first steps overseas, or are already established exporters, the OEW19 program will equip them with the tools they need to succeed globally. The week-long event will also help raise further awareness of the opportunities and support available for would-be Omani exporters.
"We're passionate about helping our private sector, companies of all sizes capitalize on economic growth wherever in the world it's taking placer. To this end we support Omani businesses to ensure they can compete in an increasingly challenging global marketplace,” remarked Al Balushi.
And Ithraa’s strategy is working. Omani products and services are enjoying tremendous international success. To highlight just a few, fibre optic cables made in the sultanate are to be found throughout London Heathrow's Terminal 5. Our batteries are powering London and Hong Kong double decker buses, not to mention vehicles of the British defence forces. Every day, commuters on Dubai Metro walk on flooring from Oman, and sanitary ware produced on one of Madayn’s industrial cities is sold in 1,000 outlets globally. And probably unbeknownst to many people, they have enjoyed the comfort of Oman-made mattresses, which are found in leading hotels around the world.
“These are remarkable success stories but there's still so much more to achieve," emphasized Al Balushi.
It is apparent that local companies are optimistic and confident about their international prospects. "However," points outs Al Balushi, "we need more businesses that haven’t considered exporting to have a go, and start saying yes to the opportunities that exist in new markets around the globe, that's why we're organising OEW19."