Muscat: Ithraa's newly-created Export Development Working Group conducted its first meeting to agree on its organisational structure and mandate as well as assess the current status of export development in Oman.
For the next two years, the working group will share its expertise, knowledge and the experience of its members who represent different sectors to enhance Oman's export capabilities.
Consisting of 14 senior representatives drawn from public and private companies in Oman's export sector, the group will work closely with Ithraa to encourage private sector participation in export development activities.
During the meeting, the team presented an overview of Ithraa's activities for 2014 and its role in export development. The group also discussed different issues related to export and the way forward to overcome these challenges.
Nasima Al Balushi, Ithraa's director-general (Export Development), said: "Sharing the collective experience of leading private sector exporters will provide an invaluable knowledge base as we look to expand the sector and encourage more Omani companies to export their products to new markets. The working group will support Ithraa's ongoing export development initiatives by highlighting potential trade avenues and proposing solutions to the challenges facing exporters today."
Non-oil exports rise
According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), Oman's non-oil exports increased 5.9 per cent in 2013 to reach a total $9.9 billion, compared to $9.35 billion in 2012.
Re-exported goods had also increased significantly in the same period, growing by 42.4 per cent to reach a total of $9.21 billion by the end of 2013.
Salim Al Bortmany, deputy general manager of Areej Vegetable Oils & Derivatives, was elected chairman of the working group he will be assisted by Yaser Mohammed Al Ajmi, general manager of Al Ajmi Marble, and Hussain Al Bathari, chief executive officer of Al Bahihi International, who will serve in the role of deputy chairman.