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Dutch students say Oman’s maritime growth impressive


By Samuel Kutty — MUSCAT: March 1 - What is so interesting about Oman for students from Europe?  Why do they visit companies that are obviously related to the logistic and maritime industries? “The rich maritime history and the current swift development make Oman a very interesting country for the students”, says Jan Bakker, Director of the Netherlands Maritime University (NMU). He was talking to the Observer along with a group of NMU students who were in Oman on a master of science programme related to the ports and maritime logistics industries.

The students are exposed to two large case studies in their one-year programme. One of those studies is an assignment to set up a small shipping company in Oman, in direct competition with Oman Shipping Company (OSC).

The students have to find a market that OSC does not serve or not completely serve. They have to know all about setting up a local company, the Omanisation target, local rules and regulations.

This study gives them the opportunity to talk to companies in Oman and learn how to avoid pitfalls.

“In our quest for information the students have been able to have high level discussions with Oman Global Logistics (OGL), Vale, Port of Sohar, OICT, Oman Aluminium, Offshore Oil Tanking and Mobilift”, Bakker says.

The NMU is a part of the STC-Group in Rotterdam, which is one of the shareholders of International Maritime College Oman (IMCO).

According to Bekker, the students could also learn more about the implementation of the Sultanate’s Logistic Strategy 2040 through lectures and interviews conducted by officials at OGL. NMU programme is open for students worldwide and the main part of the programme is done in Rotterdam.

To a question, whether a similar programme will be started in Oman, Bekker said, “the NMU, in association with IMCO has obtained an approval from the Ministry of Higher Education to start the programme as a hosted programme in Oman”.

According to him, the programme for the first batch is expected to start in September.

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