Muscat: With the aim to activate bilateral cooperation between the Sultanate and Italy in oil, gas, fisheries, shipbuilding, fishing and other sectors, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised the Omani-Italian Economic Forum at Sheraton Hotel on Sunday.
The Omani side to the Forum is led by Eng. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Dheeb, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, while the Italian side is led by Vincenzo Amendola, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Al Dheeb said that the meeting aims at sharing information and views about business opportunities among Omani businessmen and their Italian counterparts. He pointed out that whereas the value of the Omani exports to Italy stood at about OMR23.5 million in 2016, the value of the Omani imports from Italy stood at OMR113 million.
He said in statements to reporters that the Forum provides an opportunity for SMEs to develop their business. He noted that 58 Omani companies have OMR6 million worth partnerships with Italian companies operating in the different fields.
Vincenzo Amendola said that the Italian businesses are interested in having joint ventures with Omani companies in infrastructure field. He pointed out that the Forum aims at enhancing the bilateral business relations and sharing information about the available business opportunities in the Sultanate and Italy.
Talal bin Sulaiman Al Rahbi, Deputy Assistant Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Planning (SCP) said that there is an interest from the Italian companies to invest in the Sultanate as there is an Italian company operating at Liwa Plastics Industries Complex, which is considered a model project.
He also touched on the five-year plan and strategic projects in the Sultanate, as well as investment opportunities available for the Italian side and Italian companies. He also talked about Tanfeedh programme and progress made within its first year.
The forum included several working papers from Ithraa, a presentation from Asyad and another presentation on the Special Economic Zone in Duqm (SEZD). The forum was concluded by B2B meetings between the Omani and Italian sides.