A delegation from the Sultanate visits the United States to strengthen the Omani-American relations and open new horizons for cooperation in the information technology sector as well as to discover tech advancements that can contribute to the Omani economic growth and create investment and business opportunities for interested parties.
The Omani Delegation
The delegation is represented by a number of officials from a number of government entities including the Information Technology Authority, Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Public Establishment for Industrial Estate and Duqm Free Zone. HE Eng. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Dheeb, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, heads the delegation, accompanied by Dr. Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi and some ITA board members and officials, as well as representatives from other entities.
Workshops on Investment Opportunities
The visit aims to explore and highlight the investment opportunities in two States that are Seattle and San Francisco (Silicon Valley), through a number of workshops specified for the critical investment key projects including Duqm Free Zone. The first workshop was delivered in Seattle with the presence of Honor Cyrus Habib, Lieutenant Governor, State of Washington, and Mr. David Hamod, President and CEO of the National U.S. chamber of commerce.
HE Eng. Ahmed Al Dheeb delivered a speech in the workshop emphasizing that the Sultanate’s future economic development vision focuses on diversification of the economy from reliance on oil and gas towards industry, tourism, logistics, agriculture and fisheries, and mining. He stated, “Our vision is to rely on emerging and future digital technologies in developing these sectors. This in turn creates many opportunities for technology companies to invest and develop services and solutions to serve these economic sectors extending many years into the future.”
Ah Dheeb added: “We have achieved sustained progress in enhancing our business environment as evident in global rankings and were ranked 31 globally in starting a business index. Invest Easy portal of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is one of the pioneering projects in this field and it is designed to provide electronic services to investors, entrepreneurs, and owners of small and medium enterprises through a one-stop shop system.”
Investment in Oman
Dr. Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA, presented a detailed presentation focusing on the Sultanate readiness and infrastructure generally and in the IT sector specifically. He highlighted the importance of the critical infrastructure in the investment, “Oman’s location, political stability, legislative environment, our openness and welcoming nature, readiness of national workforce, entrepreneurship and startup drive, telecom connectivity and ICT infrastructure makes our country a main investment hub in ICT field. These factors are fundamental to the Information Technology Authority vision to transform Oman into a sustainable digital society by leveraging technology to empower individuals, enrich businesses and enhance government services.”
The Dugm Economic Special Zone Authority representative, Saleh Hamood Al Hasani, Director General of Investment Services, presented the smart city project that will be implemented in the Dugm Free Zone and the other economic projects.
Strategic Collaboration with Microsoft
During the visit in Seattle, the Information Technology Authority (ITA) signed a Strategic Collaboration in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Technologies with Microsoft. Dr. Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA, and Sheikh Saif Hilal Al Hosni, Country General Manager – Oman and Bahrain from Microsoft, signed the agreement. It focuses on engaging regional and international solution providers for the region, knowledge transfer and capacity building, providing ideation workshops and technology proof of concept.