OBBC, OBFA hold events to boost Oman-UK trade ties

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Sev­eral events were re­cently held in Lon­don which un­der­lined the strength of the eco­nomic re­la­tion­ship be­tween the UK and Oman

Sev­eral events were re­cently held in Lon­don which un­der­lined the strength of the eco­nomic and busi­ness re­la­tion­ship be­tween the UK and Oman.

An in­vestor break­fast was or­gan­ised by the Omani-Bri­tish Busi­ness Coun­cil (OBBC) and the Omani Bri­tish Friend­ship As­so­ci­a­tion (OBFA). An au­di­ence of in­vestors and ma­jor UK cor­po­ra­tions heard from H E Talal al Rahbi, deputy sec­re­tary gen­eral of the Supreme Coun­cil for Plan­ning, about the sul­tanate’s Tan­feedh pro­gramme for diver- sify­ing the econ­omy.

Is­mail al Balushi, COO of Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone Author­ity in Duqm (SEZAD), and Saleh al Hasni, man­ager, One Stop Shop, then gave a com­pre­hen­sive pre­sen­ta­tion on the am­bi­tious plans for fur­ther de­vel­op­ing Duqm.

Maq­bool Sul­tan, chair of OBFA, spoke on the im­por­tance of the UK-Oman re­la­tion­ship and a lively dis­cus­sion was mod­er­ated by Sir Sher­ard Cow­perColes, chair of OBBC.

Gareth Stevens, the di­rec­tor of the De­part­ment for In­ter­na­tional Trade in the Bri­tish Em­bassy, Mus­cat, said, “This was a use­ful and in­for­ma­tive event about the in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for UK com­pa­nies in Duqm. It helped enor­mously to out­line and un­der­stand the long term plans SEZAD has for Duqm. The UK is keen to con­tinue work­ing closely on the de­vel­op­ment of this project and my team and I stand ready and will­ing to sup­port any UK com­pany that would either like to know more, or who would like to discuss any spe­cific op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

H E Jon Wilks, Am­bas­sador of the UK to Oman, played a key role in the dis­cus­sions. Lord Astor of Hever DL, the Prime Min­is­ter’s trade en­voy to Oman, was also de­lighted to at­tend and lend his sup­port.

The in­vestor break­fast was fol­lowed by af­ter­noon tea at Buck­ing­ham Palace, hosted by Prince An­drew, the Duke of York and pa­tron of OBBC.

H E Dr Ahmed bin Mo­hammed bin Obaid al Saeedi, Min­is­ter of Health, rep­re­sented the sul­tanate at the event and at­ten­dees were drawn from OBFA, the cor­po­rate mem­ber­ship of the An­glo-Omani So­ci­ety and the OBBC. The Duke of York spoke of the strong bond be­tween the two coun­tries.

The UK’s De­part­ment for In­ter­na­tional Trade (DIT) has over­all re­spon­si­bil­ity for pro­mot­ing UK trade across the world and at­tract­ing for­eign in­vest­ments. DIT is a spe­cialised gov­ern­ment body with re­spon­si­bil­ity for ne­go­ti­at­ing in­ter­na­tional trade pol­icy, sup­port­ing busi­ness, as well as de­liv­er­ing an out­ward-look­ing trade diplo­macy strat­egy.

There are am­bi­tious plans to fur­ther de­velop the Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone in Duqm

H E Talal al Rahbi

Prince An­drew

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