MUSCAT: A forum highlighting the financial technology sector in Oman took place here yesterday, May 30, at the sidelines of COMEX 2024 The conference, organised by the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), was held under the auspices of His Highness Sayyid Dr Adham bin Turki al Said, Founder – The Firm.

In his keynote address, Faisal bin Abdullah al Rawas, Chairman of OCCI, underscored the significance of fintech to the Omani economy. “One of the key drivers of economic growth is financial technology. This technology has provided innovative and efficient financial services that reach a wide range of consumers and businesses. Companies are rapidly and consistently moving towards offering new financial products and services, which has transformed the financial sector and impacted various business sectors, creating promising opportunities for revitalizing new economic sectors,” he shared.

“Expanding access to financial services, closely linked to enhancing financial inclusion, has established a foundation for improving the business environment by achieving higher and faster growth rates for commercial entities. Additionally, providing the necessary infrastructure and legislation to enable financial technology serves as an investment attraction factor by encouraging global fintech companies to enter the Omani market, localize their investments, and support Omani startups with their expertise,” Al Rawas added.

Tahir bin Salem al Amri, Executive President – Central Bank of Oman (CBO), highlighted the role CBO plays in boosting the Omani fintech ecosystem. “The Central Bank of Oman has launched several initiatives in various fields of financial technology aiming to create a comprehensive fintech ecosystem. This aims to support and enhance startups in fintech, small and medium enterprises, banks, and technology companies to develop innovative sHosolutions that contribute to economic growth, job creation, and attracting capital investments to the Sultanate of Oman.“ Al Amri added: “The Central Bank has formulated a general framework and a roadmap for financial technology to set a comprehensive plan targeting various stakeholders, promoting collaboration and alignment between government entities, and identifying key initiatives and projects that will enable the fintech sector in the Sultanate to achieve the desired goals.” According to Eng Ibrahim bin Abdullah al Hosni, Chairman of the Digital Economy and Artificial Intelligence Committee at OCCI, annual revenues of the fintech industry in the MENA region amounted to $1.4 billion in 2022. This figure is expected to grow to $3.5-4.5 billion by 2025.

The value of digital assets in Oman is expected to reach $51.47 million in 2024, he said, adding that the Chamber is currently implementing various programmes to boost and support SMEs in the digital economy sector.

The forum included various panel discussions highlighting the role of artificial intelligence in fintech, investments in fintech, the future of digital banking, and customer experience transformation.

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