Muscat: A webinar has set the stage for further collaboration between Oman Aviation Group and aerospace ecosystem in the Netherlands given attracting Dutch FDI to Oman, thus advancing Vision 2040 objectives of economic diversification in priority sectors.
In an exploratory webinar held at Oman Aviation Group and attended by the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Oman Laetitia Van Asch-Pieters, Oman Aviation Group Strategic Chief Financial Officer Hussain Al Balushi, Oman Aviation Group Chief Sector Development and Promotion Shabib Al Maamari, and senior representatives from both countries’ aviation sectors, the case was made for more collaboration between Oman and the Netherlands in view of increasing Dutch foreign direct investment to Oman and prioritising in-country value creation across the aviation sector and the broader economy.
“Developing Oman’s air logistics ecosystem remains a top priority for us,” explained Shabib Al Maamari, Group Chief Sector Development and Promotion at Oman Aviation Group. “Previous high-level discussions and meetings with potential investors around the world, including Dutch logistics experts, have been part of our push to attract new business and FDI from key global markets. Our objective now is to solidify investment and develop lasting partnerships for a perishables centre, bonded warehouses, and specialised maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities, which will strengthen our position as an air cargo hub in the region. Global investors who can help us create a competitive advantage in these areas with the latest innovation and cutting-edge technology is what we are looking for. We have a goal of 730,000 tons of air cargo by 2030 and recognise the expertise that Dutch aviation brings to the table — webinars like this are vital for identifying the right partners to help us get there.”
Strategic infrastructure FDI in Oman’s aviation sector continues to gain momentum, as affirmed in July this year with a strategic partnership between Oman Aviation Group and DHL for a new storage facility in Logistics Gate at Muscat International Airport. The partnership is part of DHL’s plans to expand its network in the region to take advantage of a shift in global trade; Oman’s location continues to boost its attractiveness as a strategic air logistics and eCommerce hub on East-West trade corridors.
Oman Aviation Group’s National Aviation Strategy 2030 provides a roadmap for the aviation sector’s role in the development of infrastructure projects which hold the promise of significant economic potential. The webinar was also an opportunity to present the Group’s Airport Cities development plans, specialised economic clusters in an around Sultanate airports offering investment opportunities across a wide range of activities from fisheries and light industry to e-commerce and pharmaceuticals, and to underscore man's investment-friendly regulatory environment and mounting reputation as a world-class destination for trade and investment. Oman’s regulatory framework continues to improve for faster, smoother, easier growth, with strong and stable governance structures and economic planning in place; in 2018 Oman was ranked 7th out of 140 for ‘future orientation of government’ (World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2018).
Laetitia Van Asch-Pieters, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Oman, remarked, “The aviation sector’s resilience during this difficult time has been truly remarkable. As a pillar of economic growth and connectivity for countries around the world, it is vital that aviation keeps innovating and working towards collaboration and partnerships. Aviation in the Netherlands has played an important role in developing regional economies and is a key enabler of national economic activity. By sharing know-how and expertise, and by exploring potential partnership opportunities with Oman, the hope is that our two countries can benefit mutually over the long term.”
Oman is innovating in several areas to develop competitive business offerings as part of its Vision 2040 strategy for economic diversification. The aviation sector and adjacent industries are contributing energetically to these ongoing innovations at a national level, including massive infrastructure development, adoption and integration of global standards and best practices, and innovative cross-sectoral collaboration to facilitate investment.
On October 1, 2020, the country’s flag carrier, Oman Air, resumed passenger service with flights to 18 cities in 12 countries, signalling the early re-start phase for aviation in the Sultanate. On the same date, the airline announced a codeshare agreement with Salam Air for enhanced connectivity on flights between Muscat and Chittagong, Dhaka, Sialkot, Multan and Khartoum. An agreement already in place with Qatar Airways saw those codeshare flights also resume on October 1, 2020. With airports and borders gradually re-opening, Oman Aviation Group is now focused on sector recovery to quickly optimize assets under its management to enable the interconnected travel and tourism sector in line with Oman’s Vision 2040 objectives of economic diversification.