Oman on medical map; new manufacturing facility shows substantial cost advantage over Europe and the United States
Oman offers multiple advantages to global manufacturing companies looking for expansion or set-up, according to Peggy Farley, Co-Chairman of the Ascent Group.
Farley’s US-based Ascent Medical Technology Fund II, LP is behind the Middle East’s first dedicated medical device manufacturing company, Salalah Medical Device Manufacturing Company (SMDM). SMDM, based in the Sultanate’s Dhofar region, is a joint venture between the medical technology fund and Salalah Medical Supplies Manufacturing Company.
She said that the project’s feasibility study highlights an ability to achieve a substantial reduction in the cost of manufacturing versus those now manufactured in the United States and Europe.
“The advantage offered by Salalah means improved ability to compete for sales and, in turn, a good return on investment which can then be channelled back into expanding production lines, driving innovation and diversifying manufacturing ability,” Farley stated.
She added that the availability of well-qualified technical and production staff, excellent international sea and air links and low labour and manufacturing costs all point to Oman.
“In my mind, Oman is an ideal location for international manufacturing firms looking for the right hub or branch unit.”
Farley suggested that Oman has the potential to enable companies with sophisticated and labour intensive production requirements an alternative to their current manufacturing sites. She said that SMDM unit will start operation this summer.
“In phase one, SMDM will manufacture basic guide wires for sale to major medical companies in the United States, Europe and Asia.
“Over time, the company will manufacture more sophisticated guide wires and diversify its manufacturing capabilities to embrace compatible therapeutic medical devices. Ultimately, the company’s engineering and development capabilities will assist inventors with innovative concepts to develop prototypes,” she said.
Farley confirmed that products manufactured at the facility will be labelled ‘manufactured in the GCC’ and will also be sold in the region.
“We truly believe in the potential of the region and feel it is the right time for international organisations to look at the Middle East as an attractive option for investment in manufacturing plants,” Farley concluded.