Complex Made Simple

Ithraa leads ambitious trade delegation to Italy

The high-profile delegation consisting of government and private sector representatives are taking part in a series of three ‘Invest in Oman’ seminars

Ithraa, Oman’s inward investment and export promotion agency,is using an ambitious three-day trade mission to Italy to spur lucrative business deals, open new markets for Omani goods and services and forge new trade and investment ties.

The high-profile delegation consisting of government and private sector representatives are taking part in a series of three ‘Invest in Oman’ seminars which started in Como today and will go on to Milan and Monza later this week.

The Invest in Oman seminar series is seen by many as a timely follow-up to June’s successful bilateral trade meetings held at the Italian Foreign Ministry in Rome, a meeting that underscored the interest of Italian firms to invest in the sultanate.

Remarking on the Italian visit, His Highness Sayyid Faisal Al Said, Ithraa’s newly-appointed Director General of Investment said: “The three city Invest in Oman event is a sign of confidence that Omanis and Italians have in the role trade and investment plays in stimulating economic growth. Indeed, in collaboration with public and private sector partners Ithraa’s engaged in an unprecedented effort to strengthen Oman’s global economic standing. The three city seminars have been specifically designed to help Omani businesses expand their international presence, as well provide Italian counterpart swith information on the many investment opportunities the sultanate offers.”

Organizations participating alongside Ithraa in Como, Milan and Monza include: The Supreme Council for Planning, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Oman Food Investment Holding Company, Port of Salalah, Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm, the Ministry of Finance, Oman Air, Oman Rail, Oman Investment Fund, Omran, The State General Reserve Fund, Al Rafd Fund, The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates, Be’ah, The Royal Oman Police, Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre and Riyada.

The IMF expects the Italian economy to grow at a rate of 0.7 per cent this year and 1.2 per cent in 2016. So far, the improving economy has largely been determined by external factors. The European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme, launched in early 2015 has led to a drop in the value of the Euro, which in turn has boosted Italian exporters and kept borrowing costs low. From food to luxury goods, manufacturers to pharmaceutical companies, Italian businesses geared towards selling overseas are driving the country’s economic recovery.

“The Invest in Oman seminars are looking to capitalize on Italy’s economic rebound and strengthen trade and investment ties,” explained HH Sayyid Faisal, adding: “I can tell you with great certainty that colleagues presenting in Como, Milan and Monza are fully committed to doing what they can to enhance Oman’s business connections with Italy.”

Representing Oman’s food sector, Sheikh Saleh Al Shanfari, CEO, Oman Food Investment Holding Company provided attendees with an overview of the food sector in the GCC and broader MENA region. In particular, he focused on investment opportunities in poultry, dairy, red meat, hydroponics, date processing and aquaculture.

“Given our strategic location and outstanding infrastructure, we are perfectly placed to help companies access and serve the region’s sophisticated and growing food markets,” explained Sheikh Al Shanfari.

Feedback received from the Como event suggests genuine interest from Italian companies in exploring further the exciting investment and trade opportunities on offer in Oman.

“We stand ready to work with partners in Italy to achieve our common objectives and bring growth, jobs and prosperity to both our countries,” concluded HH Sayyid Faisal.