Times of Oman
Nov 30, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 07:37 PM GMT
South African investors eye Oman
November 28, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Businessmen from both sides felt that there are lucrative prospects for enhanced cooperation between the two countries in several sectors. Jun Estrada/Times of Oman

Muscat: Over 30 South African companies have shown interest in investing in different sectors in the Sultanate as they consider it to be a growing corporate hub of the  MENA region.

Pointing out to this fact, Jan van Wyk, coordinator of the Oman-South African Friendship Association (OSAFA) said, "I have been bringing trade delegations to Oman for over 10 years.

Many people in South Africa are interested in investing in Oman because they understand Oman is the hub to the Mena region. It is much easier to distribute products from here to North Africa, Iran, India, Afghanistan. Those are the places the products
can go."

He said that in the past 40 years, the country has developed its economy and opportunities
are opening up fast.

Jan van Wyk was speaking at the 'South African Products Exhibition & Tourism Fair' organised here yesterday by the South African Embassy, in cooperation with Oman-South Africa Friendship Association.

The exhibition was held to promote bilateral trade relations as well as to allow for business networking and exposure to South Africa's tourism potential.

It is also felt that there are lucrative prospects for enhanced cooperation in several sectors.
Yusuf Saloojee, the South African ambassador to the Sultanate said, "This is just a modest examples of some of the South African products."

Exhibitors at the investment meeting were in the category of the agri-food sector (food and beverages), ICT products, office furniture, filing cabinet systems, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment and arts and crafts among others.

Harub Kharusi, coach, Oman- South Africa Friendship Association, said, "The idea behind this event is to promote good relations and business. We are a young nation in the modern world but we are an old nation with civilisation and history. We want to learn from countries like South Africa to get more information and to do better for ourselves."

Chris van Biljon, CEO of Ekurhuleni Business Initiative (EBI), said, "It is great to see that a country like Oman is open for networking, open for communication and open for connecting with each other. I want to say to the honourable ambassadors present to please let your counterparts in South Africa know I was here and I will be contacting them in

He added: "I just want to say my organisation is about linking companies and businesses. There is a lot of business out there in the market so you have got to go and fetch them. Make the best use of the opportunity that you have in Oman. We should connect the north with south."

van Biljon also informed that his organisation is planning to bring a delegation in March.
The companies which participated in the investment meeting included agri-food sector (Al Fair Supermarket, Nando's, The Steak Company, Wiam Bekker: SA meat supplies; arts and crafts: South Africa Group of Oman (Sago); Ekurhuleni Business Initiative (EBI): Agricultural machinery and implements); SA tourism, Modern Gulf Institute: human resource development/training.

Representatives from the local business community who are interested in trading with South Africa and ambassadors from different countries attended the investment meeting.

The exhibition was held to promote bilateral trade between South Africa and Oman by the providing participants with an opportunity to see, touch, taste or smell the South African products and services on display, as well as to allow for business networking and exposure to South Africa's tourism potential.

Ambassador Saloojee, who is to leave Oman soon after completion of his term, said, "Of all the many posting I have had in my diplomatic career, it would be my saddest departure from
any  country."

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