Energy, technology and sustainability in focus at Gulf Business Summit organised by Gulf Leaders Circle

Oman Tuesday 10/October/2023 21:27 PM
By: Times News Service
Energy, technology and  sustainability in focus at Gulf Business Summit organised by Gulf Leaders Circle

MUSCAT: The inaugural Gulf Business Summit, organised by Gulf Leaders Circle, on Monday, shed light on Oman’s 2040 Vision with the focus on three key sectors - energy, technology and sustainability. Distinguished speakers and panelists presented their views on the event titled ‘Building Bridges: Exploring the Economic and Strategic Implications of Saudi Arabia-Oman MoUs and Vision Plans.’

Powered by OQGN, the summit was supported by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP) and Oman Energy Association and saw the presence of leading experts and policy-makers from Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Speaking after the successful completion of the summit, Ahmed Essa Al Zedjali, CEO Muscat Media Group, said: “This was a result-oriented summit and we believe that this will boost the existing bilateral trade relations between Oman and Saudi Arabia. There were MoUs signed and B2B talks on enhancing cooperation between Oman and Saudi Arabian companies in key sectors of energy and technology.

“The summit addressed the needs of various companies and with the support of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, we hope to attract investments from our neighbours.”

The one-day summit saw three sessions split between energy, technology and sustainability.

The summit saw attendance of nearly 70 experts from Oman and Saudi Arabia and also saw B2B meetings between Oman and Saudi policy-makers and top executives.

Paula Colard, GLC managing director, was pleased with the churning of ideas at the inaugural edition of the Gulf Business Summit.

She said: “Our mission at Gulf Leaders Circle is to be the premier source of firsthand knowledge in matters of business, international affairs, and insights from the foremost industries in our region. In this edition, the spotlight was on Saudi Arabia and Oman. The two nations have shared a long and robust history and this momentum continues to gather strength in 2023.”

While the inaugural panel session, moderated by well-known Shabiba TV presenter Abdullah Al Saidi, saw experts discuss the energy sector. Leading the discussions were Abdul Rahman Al Yahyaei (CEO of OPAL), Harith Al Suleimany (Executive Director of Seven Seas Petroleum), Saif Al Hosni (Vice-President of Gas Network Management at OQGN), Firas Al Abduwani (Director General of Renewable Energy and Hydrogen at Ministry of Energy and Minerals) and Nasser Al Maqbali (CEO of Minerals Development of Oman).

Among those attending the summit was Essam Al Sheibany, Vice-President of Sustainability at Asyad Group, Oman’s flagship logistics and supply chain group. In his remarks to Times of Oman, Al Sheibany said: “Asyad Group is closely working with OQGN to provide alternative fuel as the current bunkering fuel used for ships is very high in carbon. So greener options like ammonia, methanol or other types of fuels that will help in decarbonisation are being explored. With that we will also be keen to develop Duqm Port and Salalah Port as green ports.”

On Oman-Saudi Arabia trade relations, Al Sheibany said: “We have a very close relationship with Saudi Arabia and Duqm provides a platform for Saudi Arabia to grow their business in Oman.”

He also said there are plans to have a new generation of fleets and phase out diesel powered ships. “We are also planning to make a more efficient diesel powered vessel and the first green fuel (LNG) powered vessel could be a reality by 2027.”

Raid Al Lawati, an expert on technology moderated the second panel discussion that saw the participation of Said Al Mandhari (CEO of ITHCA), Saleem Abdullatiff (Vice President and Consumer Unit of Omantel), Mubarak Al Sawafi (Acting Executive Manager-Radio Spectrum Sector, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority), Mansour Al Ajmi (CEO of Majorel Saudi Arabia), and Maqboul Al Wahaiby (CEO of Oman Data Park)

The high-powered panel underlined the importance of technology in their companies and believed that data would be one of the key sectors in the future in contributing to a nation’s GDP and growth.

Well-known media personality Murthada Al Lawati then concluded the third panel discussion in his own inimitable style. The experts discussed on sustainability and featured leading corporate honchos as Mansoor Ali Al Abdali (Managing Director of OQGN), Dhafir Al Shehri (Director of Saudi Water Partnership Company), Sami Al Lawati (Technical Director at PDO), Harssha Shetty (CEO of Jindal Shadeed) and Saif bin Hamad Al Ramahi (Clean Energy Specialist at Environment Authority of Oman) expressed their views.

On this occasion, the first edition of the Gulf Leaders Circle book, which features in-depth interviews with CEOs and decision-makers, was also launched.

The event partners were Ministry of Commerce, Investment and Industry Promotion, OQGN, Seven Seas Petroleum, ITHCA, ODP, Khazaen, Al Maha Petroleum, Petrofac, Opal, Green Tech Mining, Jindal Shadeed, Dunes Middle East, Artic KSA, Port of Salalah, and Dur AlSanam.