TBY launch event covered in local media

TBY is proud to announce the launch of its fourth edition on the Sultanate, The Business Year: Oman 2017, in partnership with The Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (Ithraa). As Taleb Saif Al Makhmari, Director General of Marketing and Media of Ithraa stated, “The publication helps tell the wonderful success stories that make up the vibrant tapestry that is Oman’s thriving business community. In brief, it’s an invaluable business guide.”

The publication consists of over around 200 interviews with top executives and government officials, including a special contribution from his Majesty, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, in which he discusses that Oman is moving full-steam ahead toward its 2020 Vision goals. In addition, key government officials such as H.E Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, H.E Hamood Sangour Al-Zadjali, Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman, and H.E Ahmed bin Nasser Al Mahrizi, Minister of Tourism, also shared their opinions on increasing FDI, the growth of Islamic banking, and Oman’s ninth 5-Year Plan respectively.

The publication focuses on key issues surrounding Oman’s political, economical and social development. Although low oil prices made 2016 a challenging year, tourism, construction and a solid finance sector, just to mention a few made Oman a go-to destination for investors in the GCC region. As reported by Paul Loomis, TBY Regional Editor, “Oman is a regional leader in economic diversification and reform. Our 2017 edition covers the changes afoot in this influential Gulf state in great detail. We have interviewed the key stakeholders and motivators of Oman’s reform agenda, and our new publication discusses the implications of change for domestic and foreign businesses in great detail.”

Bilateral ties play an important part of the publication, which establishes the growing role that Oman is playing on an international scale. Regarding African-GCC cooperation, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta stated, “Increased cooperation between the two nations would allow Oman not only to access the region, but also to the growing Kenyan market and the improving investment environment.” Furthermore, regarding Asia-GCC relations, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha stated, “There is no doubt Oman can be a strategic partner, linking Thailand with the Middle East and the wider region of Africa… Thailand can also be Oman’s gateway to other ASEAN countries and the wider Asian countries.”

Betül Çakaloğlu, Regional Director of The Business Year, also offered her words on the release of The Business Year: Oman 2017 and the importance of working with Ithraa, “Our partner’s leadership and know-how have been central to our Omani publications and their impact on the global investor community, and we hope to maintain this partnership as we continue to focus on highlighting the Sultanate’s investment potential.”

The project’s supporting partners, RSM and Yahyaei and Salt, also contributed immensely in the facilitation of important statistics on exports, business environment and legal background, all important topics to further encourage local and foreign investors to choose Oman as a prime, business hub in the GCC/Middle East. As explained by George Matheus, Managing Partner of RSM, “At RSM, we build strong relationships based on deep understanding of what matters most to our clients. It is the strong, collaborative approach that differentiates RSM firms worldwide. RSM is one of the few networks that adopts and monitors common methodologies and procedures among all its firms worldwide.” Parallel to this affirmation, Mohammed A. Al Yahyaei, Senior Partner of Yahyaei and Salt, quoted Sun Tzu’s Art of War stating that “Victorious warriors win fairest, and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war fairest and then seek to win”, directed at the importance of strategy when doing business in the country.

The launch event took place on Monday, May 1, at the Hormuz Grand Hotel in Muscat. The event included a keynote speech by Taleb Saif Al Makhmari, Director General of Marketing and Media of Ithraa, and VIP guests such as Mr. Indra Mani Pandey, Ambassador of India to Oman, Paola Amadei, Ambassador of Italy to Oman, and representatives such as Chee Khian Lee, CEO of the Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm (SEZAD), and Reggy Vermeulen, CEO of the Port of Duqm. Other key figures from the private sector included Gert Hoefman, CEO of Oman Cables; Lo’ai B. Bataineh, CEO of Ubhar Capital; Lloyd Maddock, CEO of Ahlibank, among others.

Keynote Speaker Taleb Saif Al Makhmari addressed the audience by stating that Ithraa is working hard to attract inward investment and talent, promote the Sultanate’s non-oil exports, as well as to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs. To do so, they have chosen tools such as The Business Year: Oman 2017 to be part of its marketing arsenal, helping provide a trusted, comprehensive analysis to companies and investors interested in Oman.