Muscat 1st March, 2015 - A recent EMIR Boardroom briefing brought together over 120 senior executives from some of the world’s largest multinational companies for a private meeting with a high-profile Omani delegation led by HE Dr. Salem ben Nasser Al Ismaily, Chairman of Ithraa, the investment and export promotion arm of the Omani government.
The purpose of the briefing, which was hosted at Burj Al Arab in Dubai, was to create an environment where CEOs and senior public sector officials could candidly discuss Oman’s business climate and investment opportunities.
“EMIR Boardroom was a hugely effective platform for us to talk directly to business leaders on their perceptions of doing business in Oman, while at the same time highlighting the Sultanate’s future development plans, particularly the plethora of investment opportunities,” said Dr. Al Ismaily.
According to an EMIR e-poll of multinationals, almost three-quarters (72%) of respondents believe it is likely that their companies will expand or invest in Oman in the coming three years.
When asked to what extent lower oil prices would impact their decision, the same amount of respondents (72%) said crude receipts are important, but not a deal breaker when it comes to investing in the Sultanate. Almost one-fifth (19%) of respondents said they would invest irrespective of oil prices.
“Many of our clients said this was the best EMIR briefing to date because it had the right balance between strategy insights, government interaction and high-profile networking,” said Trevor McFarlane, Founder and CEO of EMIR.
Dr. Al Ismaily spoke to EMIR’s C-suite audience about the Omani government’s strategy to attract more investment to the Sultanate, while the private sector also heard from key Omani business representatives, including Ahmed Akaak, Deputy CEO of Salalah Port; Jamal Aziz CEO of Sohar Free Zone (and Deputy CEO of Sohar Port); and Ismael Al Balushi, Vice CEO of Duqm Special Economic Zone. Senior representatives of Oman Commercial Office - Dubai were also present at the meeting.
Oman’s delegation also used the opportunity to better understand the views of multinationals, all of whom participated in EMIR’s electronic pulse survey. The findings of the poll will help Omani government officials shape policy on foreign direct investment and empower the private sector to the benefit of the national economy.
Not only will these insights offer the government better input for policy outcomes, but they will also form the foundation for on-going collaboration between EMIR and Ithraa on other issues of importance to the growing Omani economy.