Muscat: Dynamically pursuing strategic growth and development in the Sultanate, Oman International Development and Investment Company (Ominvest) served as co-host for the Oman E-Commerce Conference (OEC) 2019 that kicked off on September 16, 2019.
The symposium, under the patronage of His Excellency Dr Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, is the most innovative E-Commerce and Digital transformation conference in the Middle East with the focus of ‘Everything Online’.
Khalid Muhammad Al Zubair, Chairman of Ominvest delivered a keynote speech on opportunities and challenges brought on by the digital transformation of the worldwide economy.
His discourse highlighted global technological advancement, its impact on human life, and its emphasis on creating value for consumers. With the emergent digital era, public and private institutions across all industries are increasingly turning technologically driven which has boosted growth in revenues.
Talking at the conference, Al Zubair said that the global retail market is to be estimated at $25 trillion by the end of 2019, with an upsurge of 4.5 per cent from 2018.
"In comparison, global E-Commerce is expected to see staggering growth in 2019 to reach $3.5 trillion and by 2023 is expected to reach heights of about 22 per cent of the global retail market compared to the 14 per cent stake it holds," he added.
With this astounding digital transformation in mind, Al Zubair drew on industry giants as "robust illustrations of growing their empires with a plethora of digital technology to boost productivity and enhance consumer experiences."
Describing the rapid growth of one of the strongest players in the market, China, Al Zubair presented statistics that catapult the Far-Eastern country as a 55 per cent global E-Commerce stakeholder in 2019.
"This monumental growth from less than 1 per cent a decade ago puts the current value of China’s E-Commerce market at $1.9 trillion.
"Furthermore, the strategy driving the technological surge points out the Chinese government as a major catalyst as an investor and consumer of digital technology along with a rich digital ecosystem and a tech-focused entrepreneurial culture," Al Zubair said.
Speaking of digital milestones within the Sultanate, the Chairman of OMINVEST underlined several vital endeavours that enhance effectiveness and productivity in the commercial and industrial sectors.
"Government forays in the form of Cybersecurity & e-Government initiatives in line with the best international practises enhancing quality and delivery of public services. Another digital venture is the Central Bank of Oman (CB0) issued Fintech regulation that provides an excellent framework for electronic money, automation and electronic cheque clearing," Al Zubair said.
He also deliberated on undertakings for future digital growth in Oman with the affiliation between Oman Technology Fund (OTF) and the Capital Market Authority (CMA) that has been illustriously investing in tech ventures and attracting tech start-ups to Oman. This funding is expected to augment areas such as Capital Markets, Insurance and Financial Services that will supplement efficiency with state-of-art financial transactions and service delivery.
"Additionally, the Innovation Development Oman Holding (IDO) is another project with vast capital concentrated on fostering start-ups that will broadly benefit the economy of Oman through numerous industries. The IDO is underwritten and supported through the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF), Oman Oil Company, The Research Council and Omantel. Providing shape to its infrastructure, the Sultanate continues to embrace innovation by clinching acceleration with its investments in new tech ventures that multiply and progress the commercial and industrial sectors," Al Zubair said.
Addressing the adverse effects of digitisation, he emphasised on maximising the benefits of digitisation while curtailing risks by the establishment of policies and procedures to further add value to the global economy. These guidelines include education, social safety, data privacy and consumer protection, and labour law amongst others.