Business


Octal, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry officials discuss ways of supporting SMEs in Dhofar


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Muscat: Octal, the world's largest producer of PET resin and sheet on a single site, recently welcomed Sheikh Abdullah bin Salim Al Rawas, the chairman of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) Salalah branch, and other OCCI board members at the company's state-of-the-art PET complex.

The delegation toured the facility and acquainted themselves the ways Octal has taken a leading role in the economy by utilising the local supply chain capabilities before discussing how OCCI and Octal can work together to further support Omani Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the governorate.

"We are looking to increase the amount of products that can be sourced locally to enhance the capabilities of local businesses and ensure the future prosperity of SMEs in Dhofar governorate," said Sheikh Abdullah bin Salim Al Rawas.

"As one of the largest employers in Salalah, Octal can contribute to the development of the private sector in support of His Majesty the Sultan's directives on SMEs and economic diversification by providing new employment opportunities for the youth of Oman and contracts for small businesses to thrive in the market. The company's success in the past eight years is a model for other Oman-based companies to follow as we highlight the potential of Salalah to develop as a global commercial and industrial hub."

Locally-sourced goods
Ahmed Al Najjar, director of Government Affairs at Octal, said, "Octal has always prioritised the growth of sustainable and locally-sourced goods and services from Omani businesses, including raw materials, pallets, packaging materials and spare parts. As a result of this prioritisation strategy, our procurement from the local economy has grown by a staggering 1,000 per cent between 2011 and 2013 and is further expected to double in 2014 to reach more than OMR20 million per year. We have also grown to become the number one exporter at the Port of Salalah and the continued expansion of our operations has created new vistas for local companies at every stage of the supply chain."

"Octal is developing into a global brand and is Oman's largest non-oil exporter, already shipping to 75 countries around the world. As the demand for PET increases, we will look to build a strong network of local contacts to drive growth in Oman's private sector and contribute to the ongoing development of Salalah," he added.  

Senior members of Octal staff highlighted how the company is driven by technology and innovation, emerging as an environmental steward that conforms with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs requirements, Royal Decrees and ministerial decisions related to the protection of the environment.

Training Omanis
Octal has successfully eliminated the five most energy-intensive stages from the conventional sheet production process to create a product that records a carbon footprint that is 25 per cent lower than traditional packaging materials and uses  65 per cent less grid electricity per kilogramme compared to other polymers.

The company continues to engage with the community by launching its Omani Nationals Technical Development Programme to train Omani graduates in petrochemical technologies. Octal has also offered internships to local students from Omani universities and technical colleges, and mentorship to new businesses in Dhofar as part of Ministry of Manpower regulations to develop a sustainable local workforce.

Octal recently reached the milestone of $3 billion in sales in just six years and now accounts for approximately 15 per cent of Oman's non-oil exports.

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