By Ali Ahmed al Riyami — MUSCAT — The services provided by the industrial areas for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the impact of interventions by the ministry in these areas was among various topics discussed during the fourth Ramadhan evening session. Minister of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, Ahmed bin Abdullah al Shuhi, was the chief guest at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (OCCI) fourth Ramadhan evening session which was held here yesterday.
The main focus of this session included research, development and regulation of industrial zones — within the framework of the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE) — and private sector investment in municipal projects and beautification works. Further, the integrated relationship between municipal councils and the private sector and the decentralisation process, was also addressed.
The position of these zones and the management strategy for water resources in the Sultanate, including dams and their importance, especially in meeting the needs of the country’s agricultural sector, were discussed, along with agricultural investment and water table levels.
In a statement, Khalil bin Abdullah al Khonji, OCCI Chairman and Head of the Organising Committee of the recently held Gulf Partnership Forum, which had attracted a number of experts and leading economists from the region to the Dhofar Governorate, called for private sector companies to provide support and care for the activities of the forum (within the GCC) for partnership and investment in Dhofar.
He noted, for this the investment focus is on the region's industry and tourism sectors, adding that, the forum is being held in the context of strengthening the role of the Federation of Gulf Chambers of Commerce (FGCC) and its efforts in attracting investments into the region. FGCC’s role includes encouraging the establishment of joint investments and easing access to facilities and incentives offered by each state, noted Al Khonji.
He commented on the importance of the forum, which came at a time when the Sultanate in general and the Dhofar Governorate in particular are in the process of establishing several infrastructure projects, aimed at providing attractive working environment that is ideal for various economic enterprises. Al Khonji stressed the importance of enhancing co-operation among Gulf investors.
Further, he added, support must be given for the enhancement of relationships through greater communication between officials of government agencies and private sector representatives. This will strengthen partnership among all concerned parties in relation to economic affairs and to meet the needs of SMEs.
OCCI invites all interested parties including proprietors, entrepreneurs, business executives, public and private sector officials, media personnel, academics and specialists to attend these Ramadhan evening events, which are being held at its head office in the Central Business District (CBD). — Pictures by Khalfan al Ruzaiqi