Wednesday, October 04, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 18, 1445 H
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Business beyond borders

ABGO Connect is an important vehicle that needs a great deal of effort to develop. An Australian company seeking to do business in Oman would much rather partner with an alumni who has potentially studied at the same university as them, understands culture and way of life

ABGO Connect is a programme developed and overseen by the Australian Business Group Oman (ABGO). This is a flagship programme that introduces Omani alumni and corporate members to the commercial opportunities with Australian businesses interested in expanding and investing in Oman.

Coordinating the activities is Mubaraka Tyebbhoy, the honorary secretary of ABGO, whose mission lies in enhancing and strengthening international relations through trade, diplomacy and humanitarian avenues.

The ABGO Connect programme is all about connecting the right Australian business with the right Omani business.

They have an alumni which includes workshops, events, networking and general chats. The programme is the basis from which each initiative stems, to develop cultural and business ties. Each of these initiatives works in tandem to achieve results.

Mohammed al Bahri and Jamal al Zeedi find the Connect workshops informative where they learnt strategies to expand network connections and innovate their business.

Both Mohammed and Jamal have found the workshops as a ‘master call’ and included in-depth information and cases on innovation which facilitated business growth. They say it is a great way to connect and seek business opportunities and network especially for alumni.

Mubaraka focuses on developing culturally sensitive solutions to transcend physical borders and create lasting cross-border relationships. She likes to increase Australia’s presence in the region through soft diplomacy in education, trade and business sectors. She has been credited with the importance of connecting Australia and Omani businesses for commercial opportunities in a variety of sectors.

Mubaraka developed the Connect programme along with Mac Thomson, Chair, ABGO, as they realised the need for an effective way to connect Australian and Omani businesses and enhance trade and diplomatic relations in education, IT, agriculture, fisheries, healthcare and mining sectors.

Mac, who was appointed as Chair in December 2019, says that with the support of the Australian Embassy they have encouraged and actively supported the Omani alumni to join ABGO.

“The alumni benefit from networking with Australian businesses and discussing practical ways to encourage business with Australian companies interested in establishing business in Oman through the ABGO Connect programme,” says Mac.

For Australian businesses, Mac mentions direct access to well-qualified Omanis, who have studied in Australia and understand the work culture.

Mubaraka sees it as the main vehicle for commercial growth between Australia and Oman. She is responsible for promoting both Australia and Oman being part of the Executive Committee. She also seeks to increase Australia's presence in the region, raising awareness of its expertise in education, IT, agriculture, mining, aquaculture, hospitality and tourism.

Mubaraka has been very passionate about driving the programme forward from its inception in 2019 as Oman holds large potential for Australian companies and similarly Oman can benefit from the expertise offered by these companies.

ABGO Connect, she says, is an important vehicle which needs a great deal of effort to develop. An Australian company seeking to do business in Oman would much rather partner with an alumni who has potentially studied at the same university as them, understands culture and way of life.

“The alumni view the networking sessions and workshops as the optimal launch platform for them to build their presence after their high-quality education and connect with like-minded individuals on a variety of topics. They see ABGO Connect as a great driver of positive commercial change and there has been a lot of excitement from their side to become involved. Their overwhelming response at each event and number of alumni in attendance says more than words can as to how they really admire ABGO and its programme,” Mubaraka explains.

Both Mubaraka and Mac say the alumni want to find a way to connect Oman to the future and be the driving force behind that. They want to create progressive change for Oman and Vision 2040 aligns strongly with this.

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