Ali Al Matani -
Achieving a place in the international market and global acceptance of products is any manufacturer’s dream. Omani manufacturers too aspire to establish a niche for themselves in the competitive global market.
Many initiatives have been launched by the government to promote Omani products across the world through different marketing strategies. Exhibitions of Omani products in different countries at various trade exhibitions have opened up avenues for Omani products. The main intention of product exhibitions is not just introducing the product but finding new markets and partnerships.
The government’s initiatives have not gone in vain as more and more Omani manufacturers have gained access to global markets, but very few have reaped the benefits of this exercise.
A closer look at the reality reveals a majority of these participants have not been able to benefit from these exhibition opportunities as there very few business partnerships were established between Omanis and the international market leaders.
This situation calls for a strategy review and steps to strengthen the process of gaining market momentum for Omani products internationally.
The quality, content and suitability of different products according to multicultural tastes should be taken into consideration while evolving product acceptance for Omani products. Participating in international exhibitions is the most ideal platform for introducing products.
In this regard, the role played by Omani Products Exhibition (OPEX) Organising Committee of Ithraa, Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Public Establishment for Industrial Estates is laudable. Adopting Omani products and establishing platforms for them at the international market networks to achieve business is the ultimate aim of these organisations.
Though participating in exhibitions bring individual benefits to the participants, representing the Sultanate with their unique products in international exhibitions is all about introducing products of the nation and its capabilities.
It’s the social responsibility of each citizen of this great nation. Not all participations are for business. There should be a commitment to make people aware of our country and the economic renaissance. Not to mention, making people aware of the industrial development and advancement achieved by the Sultanate in the past 40 years. This philosophy and spirit should guide our entrepreneurs.
Omani companies operating in various industrial sectors, including communication, oil, gas, agriculture, and others should not miss a chance to participate in such exhibitions which can help make people aware of their existence in the neighbouring countries.
This provides them with an opportunity to enter the markets of these countries, with an official participation represented by the government and the private sector.
Omani entrepreneurs should consider these exhibitions from different aspects apart from doing business. It’s an opportunity for all the stakeholders to know their competitors, market strengths and weaknesses through market research and surveys. This analysis helps companies understand and establish ideal business partnerships.
It is not an easy process to build export base and international markets, it doesn’t come by chance. It is more of a continuous process built on several aspects, studies and efforts from the private sector itself.
This is what Omani entrepreneurs should look forward to, to be fully aware of what they have, and to exert extraordinary efforts in organising and benefiting as much as they can.
The Ministry of Trade and Commerce and embassies of the Sultanate across the world have an important role to play in popularising Omani products across the globe. Given the fact that revenues from oil alone would not meet the Sultanate’s economic needs, it is time for all stakeholders to go all-out to win markets for Omani products competing with some of the market leaders.
In the long run, uniqueness and quality of the products contribute to opening up newer markets.