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Muscat: The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector in the Sultanate is in the spotlight for its vital role in accelerating economic and social development.

e-Mart, a revolutionary online platform, has been created to promote and develop the capacity of SMEs in the country. Created as the result of a partnership between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, represented by the directorate-general for the development of SMEs, and Business Gateways International, e-Mart reinforces the efforts by the government to improve the efficiency of productive enterprises and enhance their competitiveness.

It will also provide easy conclusion of commercial transactions for both related parties (buyer and seller) through the global information network on domestic or international level. The e-Mart is not limited to trading opportunities but extends to a wide range of business information such as marketing, promotion, sale and provision of services at the regional and global level and opens doors for self-employment.

e-Mart allows owners of SMEs to participate in the movement of international trade effectively and efficiently. The advantages include reduced marketing, advertising and the time and space required to perform business transactions.

Ikram Al Balushi, GM of Business Gateways International, said, "The ability of SMEs and their capacity to serve some sectors of the society are more than the large institutions as they can serve you better especially in remote and rural based areas.

"e-Mart will be the most appropriate means to provide services and knowledge of the needs of these small institutions between the provinces of the Sultanate from raw materials or services or other third party actions."

As Ikram Al Balushi said the company charges a minimal promotional fee of RO25 annually as an incentive for employers and small entrepreneurs to register on the site and take advantage of the benefits offered by the company to its members.

Business Diagnostic Centre official from the DGSM said, "Membership enables SMEs to exploit the power of the e-Mart in enhancing their growth. It is a great opportunity to improve the visibility of each institution and to be part of the main economy of the Sultanate of Oman." The Business Centre will provide free training on how to design ads and booklets, catalogues to be uploaded on the portal (Member Profile).

Ikram Al Balushi said that the company began recording the real estate sector in the first phase that included suppliers of building materials, transportation companies, equipment suppliers and others.

Institutions wishing to enter and register in the e-Mart will need to attach a copy of the commercial registration and enrolment certificate of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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