Omani trade team woos UK investors

Business Tuesday 23/October/2018 17:45 PM
By: Times News Service
Omani trade team woos UK investors

London: A top-flight Omani business delegation led by Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi, Secretary-General of the Foreign Ministry, co-Chair of the Oman-UK Joint Working Group met on Tuesday with Alistair Burt, the UK’s Minister of State for International Development, Minister of State for the Middle East, co-Chair of the Oman–UK Joint Working Group, as well as British investors drawn from manufacturing, logistics, mining, energy, finance, investment and tourism.
Sayyid Badr affirmed the deep-rooted Omani-British relations and pointed out that the UK is a strategic partner in view of the volume of existing investments between the two friendly countries.
Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Hinai, Sultanate's Ambassador to the UK said that organising this seminar comes at the suitable place as the British capital market is among the pillars to enhance the trade ties between the two countries.
The purpose of the four-day Omani visit is to lure UK companies to set up offices in the Sultanate, helping them connect with the fast growing economies of the Gulf and East Africa.
Speaking from London, and organiser of the trade delegation, Nasima Al Balushi, Ithraa’s Director General of Export Development, Acting Director General of Investment said: “Oman’s development as a logistics hub coupled with a choice of free trade zones, industrial estates and tech parks offer an excellent mix for UK companies looking to tap into the Gulf’s growing and lucrative market.”
The visit will give the Omani delegation an ideal opportunity to showcase the wide-ranging manufacturing, tourism and logistics opportunities on offer in the Sultanate. It will also enable participants to connect with the next generation of British companies looking to do business in the Gulf and East Africa.
Ithraa’s Director General pointed out: “As well as having world-class infrastructure, Oman's political and economic stability gives UK investors great confidence. The strength and warmth of the bilateral relationship and the long trading history also add to the attraction.”
Amongst the leading Omani organisations participating on the UK visit include: the Foreign Ministry, Ithraa, the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE), Muscat Securities Market (MSM), Asyad, ASAAS, Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (Sezad), BP Oman and Vision 2040.
“There is no better place in the Gulf to establish a business than in Oman. This is the message we delivered at Monday’s meetings. In fact, we are seeing more UK companies looking to Oman as a strategic location and using it as a hub for trade with the Gulf and East Africa. Companies that are benefiting from the Sultanate’s political and economic stability, robust legal system, infrastructure and multilingual workforce,” explained Nasima Al Balushi.
The UK is the largest investor in Oman with nearly 50 per cent of all Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2017 worth US$11.8 billion and is also one of the Sultanate’s top trading partners with exports of UK goods to Oman increasing year-on-year.
The Department of International Trade (DIT) based at the British Embassy in Muscat helped to support US$4 billion of trade in goods and services between the UK and Oman in 2017, a 92 per cent increase from 2016. Services provided by DIT Muscat include provision of in-country expertise and business guidance, sign posting to relevant local partners, facilitation of meetings between suppliers and buyers, arranging of visit programmes, and provision of networking opportunities.
“Trade promotion services form a central part of what Ithraa does and we are particularly proud of our track-record of helping UK firms set-up and export from the Sultanate. We also offer a range of inward investment services, advice and market intelligence that give UK clients interested in setting up in Oman the edge they need to compete in the Gulf’s highly lucrative market,” explained Nasima Al Balushi.
Ithraa’s Director General concluded: “Our visit to London is a valuable opportunity to engage with major business leaders and further strengthen the economic relationship between Oman and the UK. We are here to highlight Oman’s position as a gateway for UK companies into the Gulf and other global markets.”