Muscat: Plans designed to gain access to new and growing markets for Omani non-oil exporters and strengthen relationships with internationally owned companies were revealed by Ithraa, the Sultanate’s inward investment and export development agency.
Ithraa's approach whether it is expanding non-oil exports or attracting further inward investment is all about understanding the needs of business. This approach has proved successful over the years.
Ithraa drives the global marketing of Oman as a world-class business location and delivers an extensive package of expert advice to potential investors and exporters. Services are free-of-charge and available to domestic and international companies that want to set up, expand or export from Oman.
The Ithraa team will continue its traditional targeting approach towards large and fast growing companies throughout key sectors and markets. In 2016, Ithraa managed the commercial registration of more than 25 companies from 14 countries. Investments were placed in sectors that included manufacturing; agriculture; waste management; construction; oil and gas; and real estate.
Working hand-in-hand with stakeholders, Ithraa continues to tailor Oman’s business offer that builds on the Sultanate’s key assets. Value proposition to investors is Oman’s ability to meet their commercial needs for cost reduction, world-class manufacturing facilities and transport infrastructure, an educated multi-lingual workforce and easy access to large regional and international markets.
Ithraa’s 2017 plan builds on a long history of collaboration with stakeholders in the business community and public sector.
Export and inward investment policy making is underpinned by a common commitment to the Omani people, driven by a shared ambition to increase national prosperity and competitiveness.
Given recent investment in the Sultanate’s transport network, cultural attractions, housing, retail, education and health sectors, Oman has become a more appealing business destination, one that is attracting significant global attention.
Creating the right conditions for investment is critical to Oman’s success, particularly in relation to providing investors with top-flight talent, an attractive working environment and lifestyle.
Regardless of the current tough economic climate, Ithraa is geared up and ready to take advantage of the opportunities that will come from the eventual upturn in the global economy.
There are initiatives in both investment and export, whether attending international exhibitions, organizing trade missions or one-on-one B2B meetings, are focused on sectors and markets that promise growth.
Ithraa will be taking Omani firms to the leading stone and marble exhibition, Marmomacc in Verona; Plast Eurasia in Istanbul; and the China International Fishery & Seafood Expo in Guangzhou. Ithraa’s Export Development team will also be leading a large delegation of Omani businesses to OPEX.
According to the Ithraa official, Omani firms are exporting to 135 countries. And as of September 2016, non-oil exports reached US$4.6bn. The volume of non-oil exports rising by 24.7% over the same period in 2015.
Manufacturing, logistics, fisheries, tourism and mining will clearly remain lead sectors while health, education, food, innovation and R&D will also be key to Oman’s growing economic ambitions.
With regards to investor development activity, and in addition to GCC markets, Ithraa’s European presence will remain critical to attracting British, French, German, Italian, Swiss and Dutch investment. Asian economies, particularly India, China, Brunei, Singapore and Turkey are also important to Oman.
Ithraa activities are not based just on attracting new investment and helping existing non-oil exporters, they strike a balanced approach between winning new investment, assisting the expansion and retention of existing firms through to helping small businesses and start-ups explore international export opportunities.
Given the volume of investment and export enquiries Ithraa is receiving, it is clear Oman is becoming the location of choice for businesses seeking a new base in the Gulf. Firms understand they can benefit from a motivated and skilled workforce, world-class infrastructure and a thriving professional community. Together with the Sultanate’s strategic location, robust economy, stability, unrivalled quality of life and clean environment, these factors make a compelling case to move to, set-up in and export from Oman.