Muscat: Capitalising on its strategic location, infrastructure, regional ties and talent, Oman is looking to lure British waste management and logistics companies to set up offices in the Sultanate, and help them reach out to the fast growing economies of the GCC, Iran and East Africa.
To this end, and building upon Oman’s excellent trade relationship with the United Kingdom (UK), the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (Ithraa), Oman’s inward investment and export development agency, yesterday began business meetings in London to meet with senior UK government officials and key business leaders.
Oman’s political and economic stability gives UK investors great confidence.
The strength and warmth of the bilateral relationship, and the long trading history, also adds to the attraction.
The Sultanate’s infrastructure and development as a global logistics hub through its ports, air, rail, road construction and expansion, coupled with a choice of world-class free trade zones, industrial estates and tech parks, offer a good mix for UK waste management and logistics companies.
In seeking investors, Alya bint Salim Al Hosniyah, Ithraa’s Director of Industrial Investment, said, “The UK trade visit gives us an ideal opportunity to showcase the wide-ranging logistics and waste management opportunities on offer in Oman, as well as building on the success of the long-standing Oman – UK trade relationship.
“It also provides us the opportunity to meet the next generation of UK companies looking to do business in the Gulf and Asia. We genuinely believe there is no better place in the GCC to establish a business than in Oman.
“This is the message the team will be seeking to put across during our visit”.
The Sultanate has been successful in attracting multinational investors in industries, such as plastics, aluminium, steel, methanol and fertilizers.
It is now diversifying into non-oil industries that include logistics, tourism, fisheries, food processing, minerals, manufacturing and waste management.
To date, the UK is Oman’s largest source of foreign direct investment, with over $7 billion of investment, and one of the Sultanate’s top trading partners, with exports of UK goods to Oman doubling between 2007 and 2014.
“UK companies should look at Oman as a strategic location, using it as a hub for trade with the GCC, Iran and East Africa, benefiting from the Sultanate’s political and economic stability, infrastructure, multilingual workforce and friendly and flexible laws, which welcome foreign investment,” remarked Al Hosniyah.
UK Trade and Investment, based at the British Embassy Muscat, helped over 750 UK companies to conduct business in Oman in 2015, providing in-country expertise and business guides, direction in finding local partners, facilitating meetings, arranging visits and providing networking opportunities.
“Trade promotion services form a central part of what Ithraa does, and we are particularly proud of our track-record of helping UK companies set up and export from the Sultanate. We also offer a range of inward investment services, advice and market intelligence that give UK clients interested in setting up in Oman the edge they need to compete in the Gulf’s highly lucrative market. And we understand that foreign investment is a key driver of jobs and growth for the Omani economy, and that is why the UK visit is so important to us,” explained Al Hosniyah.
Founded in 1997, Ithraa is a government-run, ISO and investor in people-certified inward investment and export promotion agency.
Ithraa provides a range of support services and information to help domestic and international investors set up in, and export from, Oman.