Coinciding with the visit of a business delegation from the Mediterranean island nation of Malta, Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, in association with Riyada – the Public Authority for SME Development, hosted an SME Forum to explore joint collaboration between Oman and Malta in the field of entrepreneurial pursuits. The Oman-Malta SME forum held at the bank’s head office was attended by key government officials and a large turnout of entrepreneurs.
AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, said: “In pursuance of the private sector role in the economic development of Oman, Bank Muscat, in association with Riyada, is proud to host the SME forum aimed at facilitating joint collaboration in entrepreneurial initiatives between counterparts in Oman and Malta. Ever since Oman and Malta embarked on the joint pursuit of strengthening of trade and investment relations, Bank Muscat has been closely involved in these developments. Based on the outcome of interactions between the two countries, possible avenues for co-operation, including SME development, have been identified and an appropriate strategy formulated for embarking on a frontier of mutually beneficial association. Bank Muscat remains committed to playing a catalytic role in facilitating mutually beneficial association with counterparts in Malta, thereby contributing to strengthening of relations between Oman and Malta.”
Khalifa bin Said Al Abri, Chief Executive Officer of Riyada, said: “The visit of the Malta business delegation to Oman marks an important development in the joint investment, trade and business relations between Oman and Malta. Established by a Royal Decree to develop the SME sector in Oman, Riyada is committed to tapping all opportunities to support entrepreneurial initiatives in Oman. In this regard, Riyada is proud to be involved in promoting joint SME initiatives between counterparts in Oman and Malta. We wish the Malta business delegation success in their mission in Oman.”
Khalid Al Safi Al Haribi, Deputy CEO for Operation, made a presentation to highlight the role of Riyada to develop the SME sector in Oman. The country’s favourable investment climate covering various sectors and the thrust on SME development were highlighted in his presentation.
Carmen Walls of Malta Enterprise focused on the attractions of Malta connecting Europe with African markets as an offshore financial centre with world class facilities in ports, logistics and education. Malta offers logistical facilities to Omani business community, particularly SMEs, to tap European as well as African markets, she added. Presentations were made on successful SME initiatives in Malta covering the sectors of education, real estate, information communication technology, waste management, consultancy, home décor and fine arts.
Ever since Oman and Malta embarked on the joint pursuit of strengthening of trade and investment relations, encouraging developments have been reported from both sides. In a little over a year, four reciprocal visits have been undertaken by delegations of the two countries. Bank Muscat and Riyada are closely involved in these developments, especially to facilitate joint collaboration in entrepreneurial initiatives.