PEIE Launches Oman Manufacturing Group
The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE) will launch the Oman Manufacturing Group (OMG) at a seminar on New Product Development, 11 March at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (www.peie.om).
According to: Sultan Al Habsi, CEO, PEIE: “the OMG has been established to explore issues of common interest and identify opportunities for co-operation that would bring benefits to Oman’s growing manufacturing sector.” The OMG initiative has been extremely well received by manufacturers right across Oman. “Indeed, it’s far exceeded our initial expectations. We’ve received support from multinationals like Oracle, Ericsson and the logistics giant Agility through to leading local manufacturers that include Khimji Permoglaze, Omani Marble, Muna Noor, Jotun, Reem Batteries, Al Buraimi Group, Al Mudhish and Videocon.”
OMG will hold quarterly seminars, the first of which is scheduled for Sunday 11 March, 7:45pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on New Product Development. “In addition to the four seminars and PEIE’s annual Smart Manufacturing Conference (15 – 16 April) OMG intends to strengthen ties between manufacturing and education and encourage young people to consider a career in manufacturing,” said Eng. Hamad Al Harthy, Director General, Rusayl Industrial Estate.
In simple terms, OMG has been created to bring local manufacturers and supporting service industries together on a regular basis. “More specifically we will, through seminars, networking, visits and social events promote the development of manufacturing in order that we achieve our full potential,” commented Al Harthy.
Manufacturing is a key and integral part of the technological revolution that Oman is experiencing. A revolution that goes way beyond information and communications technology into products based on expert knowledge of chemistry and physics such as pharmaceuticals, materials science and miniaturisation, through to advanced monitoring and control systems that make up an efficient transport and logistics system. “These new technologies are transforming every product, every production process, every sector of Oman’s economy. Indeed, it’s innovation that’s driving new technology, but innovation isn’t a new challenge for manufacturers. Ever since the 1780s and the industrial revolution manufacturing has been about new ideas, new science and new technologies – applied to new products and processes,” said Mohammed Al Maskari, Director General, Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM).
Since its establishment in 1993, PEIE has played a lead role in supporting Oman’s manufacturing base and works very closely with other government departments to harness and spread Oman’s strengths in manufacturing. “However, despite our success people seem to all too often talk down manufacturing. In my experience, there are three myths related to our industry. Myths that damage manufacturing’s ability to attract young, educated and talented people and investment. We need to expose these myths,” remarked Al Harthy.
The first myth is that manufacturing is old fashioned and out of date, yesterday’s business. This isn’t true either in terms of the technologies now embedded in manufacturing processes or the advanced products those same processes create.
The second myth is that manufacturing is migrating to low-pay counties like China, Romania, India and Brazil. Without a doubt, labour-intensive manufacturing will continue to move to low-wage countries. That means we need to focus on high value-added manufacturing that requires know-how, technology and skilled people. Switzerland, for example, isn’t noted for its low pay, but has over 30 per cent of the global market in textile manufacturing equipment.
The third myth is that we don't need manufacturing because the service sector is sufficient. That isn’t true either. Oman needs successful manufacturers. Manufacturing provides well-paid jobs and if the US, Britain, Germany, Switzerland and Japan, all high salary economies, can manufacture successfully, so can we. “The smarter we become at producing better products, the better paid jobs in manufacturing will be. And that has to be good news for the quality of life for all families in Oman,” said Al Harthy.
“What we need to do is to ensure that Oman’s manufacturers have access to support and networking opportunities so that our businesses can make use of our excellence in education, technology and innovation. That’s why we have set up the OMG – to help manufacturers tap into the whole breadth of manufacturing know-how,” concluded Al Habsi.