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Pact signed to kickstart growth of semiconductor industry in Oman

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Landmark endeavour: Private firm to invest in Oman’s first semiconductor plant



The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology and the Ministry of Labour signed on Monday a cooperation agreement with the Semiconductor Development and Investment Company (SDIC) to support the establishment of the Sultanate of Oman’s first project centring on the design and manufacture of semiconductors.

It envisions the implementation of a programme, which was designed in cooperation with the Training Support Centre at the Ministry of Labour, that aims to enhance research, design and development through local partnerships in the public and private sectors. It also aims to support the growth and diversification of the Omani economy by supporting sustainable human capital development programmes that lead to the localisation of industries in various technological sectors.

The agreement was signed by Shaikh Saud bin Hamad al Hamouda, Director General of Development and Quality Assurance, on behalf of the Ministry of Labour, while Fahd bin Sultan al Abri, Director General of Sector Development and Capacity Building, signed on behalf of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology. SDIC was represented by its CEO, Farhat Jahangir.

In a statement to Oman News Agency, Fahd al Abri of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology said initiative will contribute to the localisation of technology and create job and business opportunities for qualified national cadres, emerging technology companies and the private sector.

He added that the project will boost the gross domestic product as semiconductors enter into the manufacture of devices that are linked to the international information network, household electronic appliances, equipment, cars, planes, trains and other devices that have become part of everyday life.

Sharifa Aideed, from the Training Support Centre at the Ministry of Labour, said the project will strengthen the position of the Sultanate of Oman on the map of global industries and contribute to providing the private sector with qualified national cadres that meet investment needs.

She said the 10-month specialised training programme is designed to provide graduates with the skills, values and knowledge required to compete globally, as the training will be conducted by international investors using modern and advanced tools for chip and chip design, and the training will take place at the University of Nizwa.

The Ministry of Labour will ensure the qualification of 120 job-seekers from engineering graduates specialised in the field of microelectronics design and prepare them to join the labour market through the employment-related training programme.

SDIC has submitted a provisional business and investment plan for a period of five years, in addition to training a group of Omani job-seekers who are graduates of related IT majors. It will also establish a factory specialised in manufacturing, packaging and exporting semiconductor chips that are used in the manufacture of electronic devices and equipment. The Ministry of Labour will also finance the training programmes and opportunities created by this programme.

Semiconductors are an essential component in the microchips that power all modern electronic devices, and with the increasing demand for electronic devices globally, the demand for semiconductors will increase, especially since there are many countries facing difficulty in achieving self-sufficiency in chips, as it is expected that the value of the semiconductor industry will reach close to a trillion dollars globally by 2030.

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