ITC and Oman discuss future cooperation

24 September 2013
ITC News
ITC’s Executive Director and Oman’s Minister of Commerce and Industry explore future opportunities for the country’s SMEs

The International Trade Centre (ITC) is to carry out an assessment of the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Sultanate of Oman in response to a request from the country’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The decision to explore what types of assistance ITC can provide to Oman came at a meeting on 24 September between Arancha González, ITC’s Executive Director, and Mr Ali bin Masoud al-Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry.

Ms González stressed that Oman has been a long-time partner of ITC and that it was important not only to ensure the continuation of this partnership, but to scale it up. She emphasized that ITC would seek to accommodate any request aimed at improving opportunities for Oman’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Having spent several years building up Oman’s hard infrastructure, Mr al-Sunaidi said that the focus now is on supporting the country’s SMEs. Pointing to efforts already made towards this goal, he said that, as far as possible, the government wants 10% of all future public contracts to be won by SMEs. Another plan aims to entice civil servants to leave their jobs and set up private companies instead, by offering them compensatory salary during the first year.

During the talks, both sides were in agreement that any future ITC assistance to Oman would also be replicated in the Sultanate’s neighbouring countries, which would create greater synergies in the region.