‘Need to Foster Business Innovation between Oman & India’
“Innovation is existing in the talented minds of Indian entrepreneurs, this must be unleashed and shared so that the world can get benefits. There is a need to look at creating innovative linkages between business in India and Oman to take the bilateral relationship to a new height,” stated by HE Dr Ali Bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce and Industry, Sultanate of Oman at a business delegation meeting organized in New Delhi by CII.
The Minister stressed on the need to create value chains between SMEs from both countries in order to create a more sustainable business model. He called for the adoption of a holistic approach towards cooperation in the clean energy sector. He felt that the focus should shift from supply of equipment to sustainable development.
The Minister stated that traditionally, Indian and Omani businesses had a buyer-seller relationship. It was now time to transform that into a partnership that leverages the strengths of both countries. He pointed out that Oman had Free Trade Agreements with several countries such as the GCC and the US. He invited Indian companies to set up a manufacturing base in Oman and take advantage of these FTA’s to access a larger market. He highlighted sectors such as medical consumables, engineering and food processing among others as potential sectors for such projects.
He also suggested that Indian and Omani companies could collaborate to supply projects and equipment in third countries.
In addition, the Minister felt that there needed to be greater engagement at the project conceptualization stage. Citing the example of computer software, he pointed out that currently Omani companies tie up with Indian companies and customize their existing portfolio for the Arab market. He felt that this process could be curtailed if Indian and Omani companies collaborate at the product conceptualization stage.
The Minister also called for greater people to people contacts between the two countries. He felt that this would lead to a greater exchange of ideas and eventually lead to stronger business ties.
In his address, Mr Pankaj Khimji, Leader of Omani Business Delegation stated that Oman was in the process of diversifying its economy and is moving away from reliance on oil and gas. He observed that this was throwing up new opportunities for business between the two countries especially in the areas of Supply Chain Management, Infrastructure Development, Skills Development and Hospitality sectors among others.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr K K M Kutty, Co-Chairman, CII Gulf & Middle East Committee highlighted three critical areas that the two countries could work together on. These included Clean Energy, Water Management and SME development. He stated that the CII-ITC Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development and the CII – Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre can help with the identification and development of clean energy sources. In terms of SME development, Mr. Kutty observed that the CII – Avantha Centre for Competitiveness for SME’s was well poised to provide the support that Oman requires to train and promote SME’s in Oman. In addition, CII through its CII- Triveni Water Institute can help stakeholders in Oman build capacity and address issues in a comprehensive, holistic and scientific manner, he added.