14 April 2016
The four-day Omani Products Exhibition (OPEX 2016) concludes today (Thursday) in the Ethiopian capital Addis Abbaba. The first three days of the event witnessed a significant turnout from Ethiopian business owners, traders and investors. Partnership, and import and export agreements were inked, in addition to commercial agency agreements for a group of the participating companies.
Meanwhile, H.E. Abay Tsehaye, Special Adviser to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, visited the exhibition which took place at the Millennium Hall, and met with OPEX Organising Committee members. Tsehaye was briefed on the Omani products and their capabilities to compete in the overseas markets. Tsehaye hailed the efforts undertaken by the Omani government to boost and develop the industrial sector especially that the contribution of the sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated by more than 11 per cent. "We are optimistic that this event will be a step forward to boost trade relations between Ethiopia and Oman," Tsehaye noted.
On his part, Eng. Basim bin Ali Al Nassri, Director General of Marketing and Media at PEIE pointed out that Ethiopia is the fifth OPEX event and more than 100 companies are participating this year. "The previous OPEX events which were held in the GCC countries have achieved positive results, particularly by emphasising the presence of Omani products in these markets. Besides, the success of the previous exhibitions encouraged us to put more efforts into the coming exhibitions. The OPEX Organising Committee - PEIE, Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (Ithraa), and Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) - are always keen to take into account all the reviews and recommendations that would help in developing the coming events and overcoming the challenges," Al Nassri pointed out.
When asked about the efforts undertaken by PEIE in promoting and marketing Omani products, Al Nassri had this to say, "PEIE aspires to support the Omani industries locally, regionally and internationally. Annual plans are being put in place to organise a series of Omani Products' Exhibitions throughout the Sultanate's governorates which are always welcomed by the companies."
On the destination of the upcoming OPEX event, Al Nassri said the committee will prepare an evaluation after the event in Ethiopia and thus the destination will be determined as per the existing options. He added that the results of OPEX 2016 shall open wider opportunities for the Omani products in the African market. "Ethiopia shall act as a gateway for the Omani products to strengthen their presence in the neighbouring markets to Ethiopia. In fact, the Omani industries have got the essential ingredients to achieve success and compete in different markets," he said.
Export Credit Guarantee
Export Credit Guarantee Agency of Oman is participating at OPEX 2016 in Ethiopia in line with its commitment to stimulate and promote Oman's non-oil exports by providing credit guarantee covers for the Omani exporters. Ahmed Khalfan Al Balushi, head of underwriting at Export Credit Guarantee Agency of Oman, said that the main aim of this guarantee coverage is to reduce risks and therefore create wider opportunities to increase the volume of exports to the foreign markets. ECGA commenced its export credit insurance, guarantee and financing activities in servicing Omani exporters since 1991. During more than 24 years of its existence, it has continued to meet its dual objectives of promoting Omani non-oil exports through its valuable credit insurance, guarantee and financing services and also remaining self-sustaining.
Port of Salalah, which is the largest port in Oman, is also participating in OPEX 2016. Saad bait Nasib, Assistant Commercial Manager for VAS and Liquid Products at Port of Salalah, stressed that the strategic location of the port plays an imperative role in import and export operations to the African countries. "We have a previous successful experience with Somalia. For almost 15 years, most of the goods that were heading to Somalia were passing through Port of Salalah. We are participating at OPEX 2016 to explore the possibility of adopting Somalia's successful experience despite the fact that Ethiopia has somewhat different circumstances particularly with regard to the logistics aspect," Saad pointed out. He added that the event has shown a great demand to explore the possibility of using the port to import products through Djibouti and Somalia.
Small and Medium Enterprises
Public Authority for SMEs Development (Riyada) continues its efforts to support and strengthen the presence of Omani SMEs locally and abroad. More than 10 SMEs are participating under the umbrella of Riyada at OPEX 2016, representing plastics, paper, silverware, food industries, among others. The participating owners of SMEs stressed the significance of taking part in external events to expand their markets. Ishaq Al Shaqsi of Althawq Alrafea Perfumes said that their participation at OPEX provides them with the opportunity to learn the experiences of other countries in the same field. "The Ethiopian market is a big one due to its large population. We are here to study the market and gather ideas, and we hope to find an agent here in Ethiopia," Al Shaqsi said.
It should be noted that more than 100 companies are participating in the event representing different industries including natural resources, minerals, wood products, manufacturing products, furniture, food, medical and pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, plastic and metal equipment, perfume, leather, and logistics, in addition to related government bodies and a number of SMEs. Addis Ababa offers a promising and stimulating market where significant opportunities are available for the investors. OPEX Organising Committee aspires to witness positive outcomes from this exhibition through playing a pivotal role in stimulating trade exchange between the Sultanate and Ethiopia, which shall develop and expand trade activities of the local companies to the various markets worldwide.
© Press Release 2016