MUSCAT: Oman Exports Platform, an online one-stop shop for export facilitation and development, has announced a major ramp-up of its capabilities with the goal of taking the ‘Made in Oman’ brand to global markets.
The platform, launched two years ago as an initiative of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP), connects Omani companies with a network of professionals, service providers, and organizations in Oman and abroad to help Omani companies grow internationally and increase their in-country value (ICV) by fostering the creation of local supply chains.
Besides offering matchmaking services, the platform offers Omani manufacturers free export and trade assistance, counseling, funding, and financing support. Local businesses can also find leads on prospective international partners, and services to support market entry/expansion and development of new trade resources and opportunities for training support.
Two years on, Oman Exports Platform has now evolved into an interactive portal that is now fully plugged into the global trading ecosystem in what Thamir al Marhoon, CEO, has described as a world-first.
“Oman Exports Platform has been created to support Omani exports and help companies connect with potential importers and enable them to reach new global markets,” said Al Marhoon. “The platform has several features, including virtual customs clearance services, logistics and legal services, and so on, all offered against competitive prices.”
Speaking to the Observer, the CEO revealed that the platform is presently linked to a global ecosystem of over 200 platforms serving more than 150 countries from around the world.
“These 200 platforms offer access to a database of around 25,000 international experts specializing in all aspects of global trade. Omani businesses registering on Oman Exports Platform can take advantage of the information and services provided by this global network, encompassing topics such as in-country value creation, localization of products and services, creating job opportunities for Omani youth, and so on.”
Importantly, this platform also links Omani exporters with international organisations, including the likes of the World Trading Organisation which, during is meeting in Geneva in October, discussed efforts to promote trade in general, support exporting companies and nurture the development of SMEs.
Further, in line with its goal to enable Omani manufacturers to access global markets, the platform encourages prospective exporters to sign up for its ‘Export Readiness’ programme. “Exporters can evaluate their readiness and then go through a programme that help them prepare for international markets in a more organized way,” Al Marhoon explained.
A key focus of the platform is on non-oil exports, including manufactured goods, food products, minerals, and so on, according to the CEO. But smaller players, notably SMEs and artisans working in the handicrafts sector, are supported as well, he said.
The platform’s capabilities were showcased during the Saudi-Oman Investment, which was held in Riyadh last week. Participating companies from Oman took advantage of the platform to feature profiles on their businesses and highlight their products and services as well, in a bid to tap markets and business opportunities in Saudi Arabia.