Qatar and Oman’s economy ministers led the opening of the second instalment of the Omani Products Exhibition (Opex) at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) yesterday. HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani and Oman’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Ali bin Masoud al-Sunaidy led the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the presence Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani and other Qatari and Omani dignitaries. Sheikh Ahmed lauded the organisers of ‘Opex 2017’ and said he is optimistic that Qatari and Omani businessmen would enter into agreements that would help enhance bilateral and trade relations of both the countries. He also encouraged Qatari businessmen to meet their Omani counterparts at Opex 2017, which is showcasing a wide range of products from more than 70 exhibitors, including 27 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
HE Sheikh Ahmed receiving a token during a tour of Voltamp Oman’s booth inside the exhibition.
The exhibition features agricultural foodstuffs, building materials, industrial commodities, furniture, electric and electronic materials, health and medical products, textiles, leather products, fertilisers, cosmetics, plastics, industrial equipment, oil industry equipment and tools, and primary and petrochemical materials. The first edition of Opex was held at the DECC in 2013, said Opex committee head Ayman al-Hsani. “The 2013 Opex-Doha show was extremely well-received. We knew there was a need for a large international Omani products initiative in Qatar but the show’s success exceeded all expectations.
“It was clear from the amount of business conducted and the number of enquiries received that Oman-made products are valued by Qatari businessmen, retailers, and consumers. In fact, we see Qatar as a key growth market for Omani manufacturers,” al-Hsami said. Nasima al-Balushi, the director-general of Oman’s Investment Promotion & Export Development (Ithraa) and Opex organising committee member, said given the scale of Qatar’s “ambitious” infrastructure projects, “the Opex show is the perfect platform to connect Omani and Qatari businesses.”
“There are significant commercial opportunities in Doha for Omani firms, particularly in the food and beverage, construction, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing sectors,” al-Balushi said.
Founded in 1997, Ithraa is a government-run, ISO and Investor in People-certified inward investment and export promotion agency. It provides a range of support services and information to help domestic and international investors set up in, and export from, Oman.
“Entering new international markets can be tough and it takes time, commitment, patience, and investment to do it. The Opex show is an excellent platform for Omani firms to get their message across, meet existing and new customers, retailers, procurement officers and discuss opportunities for business partnerships. “In fact, it couldn’t be a better time to begin exporting and open up new business ties with Qatar. We’re excited about exhibiting at the DECC and confident that Opex will produce excellent results for all concerned,” she added. Opex 2017 is under the sponsorship of Qatar Chamber, Oman’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Oman’s Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE), and Ithraa.