Focus on social investments in Oman, experts urge family-owned businesses
Family-owned businesses should focus on social investments and work for the general welfare of the society, said experts who attended a family business summit here.
"As responsible private businesses, we should provide for the benefit of the society at large. Many people throughout the world come to the same reality, especially in the light of social instability," said Khalil Al Khonji, chairman of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI).
Addressing the fourth Arab-German Family Business Summit here yesterday, he said: "It is necessary that all of us should focus on responsible ownership and should come together to discuss on finding solutions for common problems that we all face." Family-owned business, which is the backbone of the economy, should continue to serve as a platform for societies and economies. In her welcome speech at the conference, Angelika Storz Chakarji, German ambassador to the Sultanate, said many renowned products are manufactured by family businesses worldwide. Also, the rate of return in this type of business is better (than listed firms).
Highlighting the significance of family businesses, she said: "Family businesses make up for an overwhelming share of the national economy in both Oman and Germany." The future of family-owned businesses is key to Oman's economic development model. Sustainable development Al Khonji said Oman has a mix of both family-owned businesses and public companies. "Some of the family businesses have converted into public companies," he noted. The three-day summit is being held with the theme - owner responsibility - investing in the next generation.
The event is organised by OCCI, in collaboration with Germany-based International Institute for Family Enterprises. The seminar had a panel discussion on ownership and responsibilities of family business, which was attended by Dr Simone Bagel Trah of Henkel, Thomas Donaldson from Wharton School, Khalil Al Khonji, Friedrich Merz of Mayer Brown and WEPA Industrieholding, and Sawih O Sawiris. Entrepreneurs from family-owned businesses, sovereign wealth fund and investors will discuss on issues related to sustainable development today.
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