Muscat: Oman’s non-oil exports reached US$9.7 billion in 2018, which is higher from the US$8.2 billion reported in 2017, and have successfully provided employment to over 240,000 people, a senior Ithraa official said.
“Oman’s manufacturers play a crucial role in communities right across the Sultanate, creating new and sustainable jobs, which have helped accelerate Oman’s ambitious economic plans,” said Nasima Al Balushi, director general, Investment & Export at Ithraa.
“We’re living in a digital age, where borders no longer matter. In fact, the word multi-national has long been associated with the world’s largest companies. But today, that label no longer carries the same meaning,” Al Balushi pointed out that.
“With platforms such as Instagram and eBay giving start-ups the opportunity to reach markets worldwide, every Omani manufacturer, no matter their size, has the potential to become a multinational,” she explained.
She made the comments while addressing the manufacturers and business leaders on Sunday, where Oman Export Week (OEW19) began at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC).
Delivered by local and international experts, the five full-day OEW19 workshops will expose local businesses to the trends driving today’s sophisticated export markets. The event was graced by Engineer Ahmed Al Dheeb, under secretary at the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
“We were delighted to have HE Engineer Ahmed Al Dheeb join us at the OEW19 inauguration as he’s been a champion for Omani manufacturers for many years and clearly understands how important manufacturing and non-oil exports are to the Sultanate’s economy,” said Al Balushi.
“We’re passionate about helping our private sector and companies of all sizes capitalise on economic growth wherever in the world it’s taking place. To this end we support Omani businesses to ensure they can compete in an increasingly challenging global marketplace,” she added.
“Ithraa’s strategy is working and now Omani products and services are enjoying tremendous international success. To highlight just a few, fibre optic cables made in Oman are to be found throughout London Heathrow’s Terminal 5. Our batteries are powering London and Hong Kong double-decker buses, not to mention vehicles of the British defence forces,” she said.
“Every day, commuters on Dubai Metro walk on flooring from Oman, and sanitary ware produced on one of Madayn’s industrial cities is sold in 1,000 outlets globally. And probably unbeknownst to many people, they have enjoyed the comfort of Oman-made mattresses, which are found in leading hotels around the world,” she said.
“These are remarkable success stories but there’s still so much more to achieve,” emphasised Al Balushi.
It is apparent that local companies are optimistic and confident about their international prospects. “However,” Al Balushi points outs, “we need more businesses that haven’t considered exporting to have a go, and start saying yes to the opportunities that exist in new markets around the globe, that’s why we’re organising OEW19.”