Singapore: Two Omani delegations are visiting Singapore to seek the expertise of a country which has set the wheels in motion to become the world's first 'smart nation' through the use of technology and data.
The visits, which are in line with the Sultanate's efforts to develop its e-government services, coincide with the Infocomm Media Business Exchange (imbX), Asia's largest infocomm and media event.
According to a senior official at the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), one of the delegations represents Oman's Information Technology Authority (ITA) while the other one comprises representatives of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The three-member ITA delegation arrived on Sunday while the eight-member SME delegation arrived a day later, Kevin Chan, centre director (Middle East) of International Operations at the IDA, told the Times of Oman on Tuesday.
"The SME delegation will stay in Singapore for four days and will visit a number of start-ups and companies active in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector," Kevin added.
According to him, the Omani delegations will also be visiting incubation centres and a number of institutes in Singapore to "exchange ideas and see the new developments".
The IDA is 'collaborating closely' with the Omani government in implementing training initiatives, Kevin said, adding that Singapore's e-Government Leadership Centre recently conducted a three-day course for 25 high-level Omani officials.
Earlier, in April this year, a seminar on e-governance was held in Muscat for a number of government officials ahead of Comex 2014, he noted.
The official added that IDA representatives deliver lectures at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) on e-government services.
"These visits underscore the close relationship that we have at the government level and the business-to-business level," added Kevin.
"We also hope to move towards the people-to-people level."
Vincent Wong, chief executive officer, IDA International, also hailed cooperation between the governments of Oman and Singapore, noting that it is contributing to the development of the ICT industry in the Gulf country.
Several exchange visits have taken place between Singaporean and Omani businessmen, he said, adding that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was recently signed between Oman's Ministry of Manpower and the IDA.
The MoU is aimed at delivering innovative digital services to the Oman Ministry of Manpower, with a focus on business process re-engineering that reduces costs and cycle times by eliminating unproductive activities.
"We have finished the first phase of the project," Wong noted, adding that Singapore is keen to share its expertise and experience with Oman in the IT sector, smart city planning and healthcare.
The IDA is exploring opportunities in Duqm, Oman's fastest growing economic hub, and hopes to enhance cooperation with the Sultanate in the future, he concluded.
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