Apr 12 2010
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Experts offer upbeat outlook on Oman-Pittsburgh business JVs
They were speaking at a symposium on "Partnership and co-operation between Oman and Pittsburgh" here yesterday under the auspices of Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al Busaidy, Secretary-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dr Salem bin Nasser al Ismaily, CEO, Omani Centre for Investment Promotion and Export Development (OCIPED), said he is hopeful that in the roundtable discussions between the business people of the two sides will tap opportunities in the field of renewable energy, healthcare, green technology and other sectors. Simin Yazdgerdi Curtis, President and Founder of the Pittsburgh Middle East Institute (PMEI) is heading the 15-member Pittsburgh delegation that arrived here yesterday on its first mission to Oman.
"Our goal is to connect our region to the Sultanate in business, education and culture. We see great opportunities for business," said Simin. "Oman is focusing on solar and wind energy. We see considerable opportunities for cooperation in this field," added Simin. Dr Al Ismaily said the Pittsburgh institute and city have a bright future in the Sultanate because "Oman is different" on account of its top priority to three factors in policy making.
Dr Ismaily said private sector in Oman is increasingly becoming the key engine of growth. Government's role is becoming more of a policy-maker than a business practitioner. Oman's focus on the development of its knowledge economy also holds out immense business opportunities, he added. In this context, he said, it is worth noting that a company in Oman is planning to develop a "Medical City" near Muscat with an estimated investment of RO 300-400 million rials ($774 million to $1.03 billion) for learning, research and workshops.
The visiting Pittsburgh delegation has brought together distinguished businessmen and representatives of a number of international companies specialised in the fields of nuclear technologies for production of electricity and desalination of water, sustainable energies, green technologies, research and scientific innovations and solar energy industries. Their aim is to forge closer co-operation and partnerships between the two sides, Lyutha al Mughairy, who heads Secretary General Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The symposium aims to encourage local and foreign private investment and to foster the role of private sector in achieving sustainable growth and materialising the strategic objectives of 'Oman 2020', said Lyutha. Besides Simin and institute Vice President Paul Overby, the delegation includes representatives of local energy and environmental companies.
They include Ron Pettengill, CEO, Epiphany Solar Water Systems; Vikrant Sarin and Devesh Sharma, managers, Aquatech; and Robert Stoehr, manager, Photovoltaic Systems, Solar Power Industries, John Wu, CEO, Solar Power Industries; Mateen Aini, CEO, Songwhale LLC, Neal Brengel, Mmanaging Partner, K & L Gates, Dubai Office, and Phalgun Trivedi, Regional Operations Manager, H J Heinz Africa and Middle East.
Delegates in healthcare and education are Dr Esther Barazzone, President, Chatham University; Bryan Tamburro, senior director for strategic initiatives, Carnegie Mellon University's School of Public Policy and Management and the School of Information Systems; Bryan S Zerbe, Director of Admissions, for CMU's Qatar campus; Michael Costelloe, Senior Vice President, International for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; and David K Miles, CEO, The Children's Institute.
Simin said the Pittsburgh Middle East Institute is a consortium created to promote business, educational and cultural ties between the two regions. During the current visit, the institute is focusing on the Sultanate to capitalise on connections forged by Pittsburgh companies and organisations with operations here. The reason for setting up the PMEI in Pittsburgh is that "We see so much opportunity to get Pittsburgh more on the map there."
By Hasan Kamoonpuri
© Oman Daily Observer 2010
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.
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