Oman Arab Bank addresses industry changes and opportunities in key roundtable with Ministry of Finance and banking representatives

Roundup Sunday 23/July/2023 15:33 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman Arab Bank addresses industry changes and opportunities in key roundtable with Ministry of Finance and banking representatives

Muscat: Oman Arab Bank (OAB) took part in roundtable talks on shaping the future of the financial and banking industry with representatives of the National Program for Financial Sustainability and Financial Sector Development (Estidamah), alongside other industry experts from Alizz Islamic Bank (AIB) and National Bank of Oman (NBO).

The discussions addressed the opportunities and challenges in the banking sector, and highlighted how Estidamah can play a role in catalyzing alignment, and creating opportunities for growth and development. Discussions covered supporting SMEs, innovation in the banking sector, growing the fintech ecosystem, financial literacy, talent management and green financing.

Sulaiman Al Harthi, CEO of Oman Arab Bank, said: “We are confident that our discussions with Estidamah will help provide a crucial blueprint for the development of the industry, and our counterparts in the banking sector. OAB’s commitment to Oman’s socioeconomic growth agenda and Vision 2040 remains steadfast as we continue harnessing innovation to enhance our product offerings and deliver an overall superior banking experience. Understanding the key role, the SME sector is playing, we have also introduced many initiatives and solutions tailored for them, starting with workshops and training programs to credit facilities and exclusive offers. In addition, we financed several strategic green projects and continue to develop local talent through various programs designed for the local market.”

Ali Al Maani, General Manager of Alizz Islamic Bank, said: “Considering the banking sector's crucial role as a fundamental pillar of the Sultanate's economic progress, these dialogues carry immense significance. They provide a platform for sharing valuable banking experiences from diverse sectors, foster a deeper understanding, and charter a path for the future.”

Abdullah Al Hinai, CEO of National Bank of Oman said, “I am delighted to have participated in this roundtable discussion, and I thank Oman Arab Bank for the invitation. One of the objectives of Estidamah is to enhance the readiness of the financial sector and transform it into a key enabler in achieving the goals of Oman Vision 2040. At the National Bank of Oman, we are committed to supporting Estidamah to promote the economy as a whole and the financial sector in particular.”

Mahmood Al Aweini, Director of Estidamah stressed on the importance of the engagement and coordination between government units and private sector entities in the Sultanate of Oman to achieve the ambitious goals set for the financial sector. Al Aweini further explained, “Estidamah will lead the creation of an advanced green financing framework as well as an attractive innovation hub for financial technology solutions. The ultimate goal is to nurture investment opportunities for international and local entrepreneurs”. He further emphasized the importance of collaborating between the banking sector and Estidamah, to enhance the competitive advantages of the Sultanate of Oman and achieve the economic and social goals outlined in Oman Vision 2040.

Established in November 2022, Estidamah aims to study the current situation of the financial sector, diagnose the most important challenges associated with it, prepare for workshops and specialized laboratories to set strategic goals, and propose solutions, initiatives and projects to be implemented. The program seeks to strengthen sustainable financing opportunities for the economic sectors prioritized by Oman Vision 2040, empowering the private sector to assume a prominent position in economic development.