Muscat: The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE) and Export Credit Guarantee Agency of Oman (ECGA) have signed here on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote Oman's non-oil exports.
The MoU was signed by Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, PEIE chief executive officer, and Nasir bin Issa Al Ismaily, ECGA general manager, on the sidelines of the Exports and Customs Seminar.
The MoU calls for cooperation in various fields including organising conferences, seminars, workshops, webinars, and other events.
It also focuses on promoting ECGA and its services to PEIE tenants (exporters), supporting the creation of business opportunities for ECGA, and organising Business to Business Networking (B2B) between ECGA and PEIE tenants.
Speaking to the Times of Oman, ECGA general manager said that the agreement is an important step towards promoting the country's non-oil exports because it will help facilitate the export process.
"Oman has done very well to encourage non-oil exports over the past years. We are also trying to do our share of work by mitigating the risks that exporting companies may face," said Al Ismaily.
"We have been covering exports to more than 109 countries around the world and we provide many services including domestic credit insurance and pre-shipping financing," he added.
According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the Sultanate's non-oil exports increased by 5.9 per cent by the end of 2013 and reached OMR3,806.9 million compared to the OMR3,594.1 million figure registered in 2012. Re-exported commodities increased significantly by 42.4 per cent, reaching a total value of OMR3,541.4 million by the end of 2013 compared with OMR2,486.3 million in 2012.
The NCSI statistics showed a growth of the total value of imports in 2013 to OMR13,201 million compared with OMR10,811.3 million by the end of 2012, reflecting an annual growth rate of 22.1 per cent.
In order to expand the spread and presence of Omani products in global markets, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, PEIE, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development have put in place an integrated programme to promote these products externally.
"A number of Omani Products' Exhibitions took place in Saudi Arabia and Qatar during the past two years, and another exhibition will be held this year in the UAE. Undoubtedly, these exhibitions offer greater opportunity for the locally manufactured products to touch upon the markets outside the country," PEIE chief executive officer said at the seminar.
Al Hasani noted, "This seminar comes in line with efforts undertaken by the PEIE to support industrialists and gather experts from relevant institutions to discuss, raise various issues and outline recommendations to solve challenges. In fact, the Exports and Customs Seminar endeavours to achieve a positive impact reflected on the industrial sector in Oman through facilitating the access of exports to foreign markets by diminishing expected risks and challenges that exporters may face, and provide constant information and services to them."