MUSCAT: Investment promotion offices are planned to be set up in several countries, said a senior official at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI).
The chamber will focus in a major way this year on business and investment opportunities in Oman, and offices will be set up in five countries, Redha Juma Mohammed Ali Al Saleh, vice-chairman at the OCCI, told the Times of Oman.
Asked about the target countries, Al Saleh said the names of these countries would be officially announced later.
According to him, Omani businessmen will be present at these offices to promote trade and investment in Oman.
At the same time, they will assist the businessmen of the respective countries who evince an interest in dealing with Oman and entering the Sultanate’s market, added Al Saleh, the OCCI vice-chairman for administration and finance affairs.
The official explained that this year, one of the major areas of focus in terms of investment promotion will be the mining sector, given the recent establishment of an OMR100-million mining development company, called Mining Development Oman (MDO).
The company was recently set up by the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF), the Oman Investment Fund (OIF), the Oman Oil Company (OOC) and Oman National Investments Development Company (Tanmia).
The OCCI vice-chairman also said manufacturing, particularly in the fisheries industry, is another priority area for investment, considering Oman’s vast resources in this regard.
Omani fish is currently exported to other countries in raw form, without being processed, he noted, adding that Oman does not gain much this way.
“So we are encouraging our investors or partners to invest in Oman to process this fish and only then export it,” he said.
Logistics is another sector that Al Saleh believes is very important, given the Sultanate’s efforts to transform the country into a regional hub for transport with its strategically located ports of Sohar, Duqm and Salalah.
Commenting on other plans and activities of the OCCI for this year, he stated that Omani businessmen will be paying a number of visits to other countries while some delegations will explore business opportunities in Oman.
An Omani delegation will visit Germany in April, he said, adding that a delegation will participate in a banking, finance and insurance committee meeting in Taiwan in February.
In addition, Al Saleh said an Indian-Arab gathering is expected to take place in Muscat in May while there will be an ‘Invest in Oman’ meeting in September.
Asked about the activities of the OCCI in 2015, he said a number of Omani delegations visited other countries, including Turkey and Iran.
The chamber also participated in various meetings, such as conferences related to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Arab League and Islamic chambers, he added. In addition, Al Saleh said a seminar about business opportunities in Oman was successfully held last year.