Raising awareness on Oman’s role in manufacturing and exports
October 31, 2018 | 4:26 PM
by Times News Service
Taleb Al Makhmari, Director General, Marketing & Media at Ithraa

Taleb Al Makhmari, Director General, Marketing & Media at Ithraa – Oman’s inward investment and export promotion agency – and organiser of Oman Export Week (OEW) talks about the five-day programme, the importance of Oman’s manufacturing sector,and the rise in non-oil exports. The event is scheduled to be held on December 2 – 6, 2018 at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Can you tell us about Oman Export Week (OEW)?

Oman Export Week (OEW) is a series of workshops being held in Muscat, from December 2-6, 2018 at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre. The initiative is the first of its kind in Oman and has been designed to promote exporting to Omani businesses as well as raising awareness on Oman’s manufacturing and exports success to the general public. The fifteen OEW workshops running throughout the week will offer participants advice on how to go about doing business. OEW has been designed specifically to provide sustained, long-term support to Omani businesses looking to enter the export market or expand existing international sales.

Who’s supporting OEW?

We’ve been blessed with support coming from multiple organisations, including: The Times of Oman, Credit Oman, The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates, Royal Oman Police, Customs Directorate; Asyad, Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry, National Bank of Oman, The National Centre for Statistics & Information, Riyada, Protiviti, Oman Daily, and Merge 104.8FM. Their support is key to the success of this important national initiative.

What will OEW workshops cover?

The week-long programme will focus on a wide range of topics, including market research, international cultural issues, intellectual property rights, international sales and marketing, pricing, packaging, branding, export opportunities in emerging economies and e-exporting. In simple terms, OEW workshops will focus on the opportunities and trends that are redefining what it means to be an exporter in today’s fast moving and highly competitive global market. They’ll be a lot of fun too.

Who is presenting at OEW?

We’ve an exciting group of 27 presenters – people running highly successful companies, firms exporting to the four corners of the world through to niche, small batch manufacturers who cater for high-end markets, to consultants, lawyers, social media experts, bankers to civil servants tasked with supporting and promoting Omani exporters. They’ll all be contributing, helping local companies realise their export ambitions.

Isn’t manufacturing and exporting key to Oman’s economy?

Absolutely, manufacturing has been central to Oman’s economy and is key to the creation and retention of good paying jobs, providing a solid standard of living for Omani families. A strong manufacturing industry is fundamental to Oman’s continued prosperity and vital to boosting our non-oil exports. Government has been working hard to establish a new placed-based vision for Oman’s economic growth and prosperity, integrating the work of several public sector agencies to promote sustainability, livability, inward investment and economic competitiveness. Government clearly recognises that manufacturing’s success and ability to create jobs are dependent on having a skilled, multi-lingual, internationally-focused workforce, a modern infrastructure to transport Oman-made goods, a commitment to on-going improvement through energy efficiency and waste reduction and a stable supply of appropriate manufacturing workspace. Moreover, critical to all these factors are public-private partnerships that create an increasingly competitive and attractive Omani manufacturing sector.

Today, manufacturing represents 10.2% of GDP and employs over 244,000 people. Indeed, Oman is enjoying and benefitting from a surge in manufacturing, production of world-class and highly sought after goods is soaring, amongst them are batteries, plastic, marble, cables, fragrances, steel to hand-made chocolate and ceramics to women’s fashion to precision engineering. Innovation in design is creating Omani products that are capturing the consumers’ attention domestically and internationally. Although the Omani public has taken greater interest in locally made products, they still aren’t fully aware of the breadth of Omani manufacturing, the jobs it creates, the numbers employed, the investment it’s attracted and the 140 countries Oman-made goods are exported to. We’re hoping Oman Export Week will go a long way to remedying that, presenting manufacturing and exporting in the true light that it really is – a dynamic and innovative environment. Oman Export Week workshops are open to existing as well as potential exporters. All sessions are free-of-charge.

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