Muscat: The Oman Switzerland Friendship Association (OSFA) came back with a successful 2nd edition of its Business Forum focusing on Innovation & Sustainability.
The long-awaited event was hosted at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat on October 5 and reunited a range of high-level VIP speakers from both Oman and Switzerland including Qais bin Mohammed Al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry & Investment Promotion, who delivered the Welcome Address. This 2nd Business Forum was a renewed opportunity to develop the bonds of friendships and strengthen the relationship between the Sultanate of Oman and the Federal Republic of Switzerland.
Following the success of the 2019 Business Forum held in Bern (Switzerland), OSFA explored two leading topics for both countries: Innovation & Sustainability. High-level speakers from Oman and Switzerland delivered their expert presentations on Finance & Investment, Tourism, Environment and Digital Technology (AI).
Throughout the event, guests were encouraged to network, collaborate, exchange ideas - and explore new ways of creating investment in both countries thanks to a mix of presentations, workshops and panel discussions.
Hosting this year’s event, Hani Muhammad Al Zubair, OSFA Chairman, stated, “This Business Forum was delayed by a few years due to the pandemic, however as the saying goes, 'Good things come to those who wait'. We are delighted with the number of delegates who joined us today. We had such a variety of people, from Oman and Switzerland, each bringing their unique skill set, knowledge and networks, and all contributing to making this event so successful.”
OSFA reunited a notable list of VIP speakers from Oman and Switzerland, including Qais Al Yousef, Hashil Obaid Al Mahrouqi, CEO of Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran), Nicholas Meyer (Head of Section Middle East & Africa, Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs – SECO) and both OSFA patrons, Sayyid Abdulla Al Busaidy and Vincent Maître (Member of Swiss Parliament). Many VIPs were also among over one hundred delegates attending the Forum.
Speaking of the importance of the Oman Switzerland Friendship Association in bringing both two countries, Sayyid Abdulla Al Busaidy, OSFA Patron for Oman, explained, “Oman is often referred to as the “Switzerland of the Middle East”, an indication of just how suited these two countries are to join in a Friendship Association. His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, may Allah bless and preserve him, strongly advocates maintaining strong and mutually productive relations between our two countries in various fields such as economy & trade, science & technology, culture, tourism, education and so on, and the mission of the Oman Switzerland Friendship Association recognises and values this enduring friendship. Hosting events like this Business Forum is an essential part of developing and nurturing the commercial sectors of both countries.”
Commenting on the overall Business Forum, OSFA Patron for Switzerland, Vincent Maitre rejoiced at the quality of the presentations, “It has been my pleasure to be here today and witness a truly successful Business Forum. The diversity of people attending, and their valuable contributions made for an extremely productive day for everyone. The quality of the speakers and their presentations was second to none. I am very proud to be a patron and I look forward to supporting the Oman Switzerland Friendship Association as much as I can.”
The Oman-Switzerland Friendship Association (OSFA) was established in 2016, to implement sustainable programmes that improve mutual knowledge and understanding between the Sultanate of Oman and Switzerland. Over the years, it has created opportunities for its members to exchange ideas, learn from experiences, share knowledge and create friendships, encouraging the social and economic development of both countries.