Oman targets 15% growth in non-oil exports
In 2012, Oman exported about OMR3.5 billion worth of non-oil commodities
Oman has set a target to increase by 15 per cent the value of its non-oil exports this year, an official told Times of Oman in an interview.
In 2012, Oman exported about OMR3.5 billion worth of non-oil commodities and "we expect to see a 15 per cent growth in 2014," Taleb Saif Al Makhmari, Director of Export Development at Ithraa, said on the sidelines of a seminar held to guide Omani small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on how to promote their products at international trade shows.
Expectations are high
During the first eight months of 2013, there was an eight per cent growth in non-oil exports compared to the same period in 2012, noted Al Makhmari. "Our expectations are high for 2014 and 2015."
According to the official, the major non-oil products exported from the Sultanate in 2012 were minerals, agricultural products, fish, and plastic items.
India was the largest market for Omani non-oil products in 2012, the official said. "We exported OMR611 million to India."
Non-oil commodities importers
After India, the main importers of Oman-made non-oil commodities in 2012 were the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Saudi Arabia, added Al Makhmari.
"Currently, we are exporting to 140 countries," he said, adding that Ithraa has identified over 15 countries which can be the potential markets for Oman's exports in the coming years.
"We classify these into primary and secondary markets because we need to be more focused in terms of the services and the approach we are going to take."
Al Makhmari also noted that Ethiopia and a number of other African countries are the organisation's new focus and studies are underway to evaluate the competitiveness of Omani products there.
Support for SMEs
Asked about Ithraa's plans to promote small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the export market, he said that the organisation has taken several steps to support the participation of small and medium units at foreign exhibitions with the aim of helping them in marketing their products.
Training programmes and seminars are also held regularly to enhance their abilities to market their products abroad, Al Makhmari concluded.