How did Business Gateways International align its services over the past year in order to serve the changing needs of businesses?
Considering we build and operate IT platforms, our focus has always been on serving citizens and organizations based on the governmental framework regarding our various projects. Our challenge has been more in terms of the support and how to ensure that our platforms effectively perform during this pandemic. Overall, many of our existing services have migrated online, and we have strengthened the online structures accordingly as well. As part of our procurement platform JSRS, the past year has been heavily reflecting the demand-supply realities for the entire oil and gas industry of Oman. From the supply side, we had to realign some of our processes leading to the supplier certification, and from the demand side, we had to adapt to specific products and services from our buyers community that peaked in demand, such as health-related products. And over the last year, we intensified our engagements with the government and clients to align our objectives. As part of our engagement intensification strategy, we also introduced the JSRS CSN Sourcing Hub to harness the inherent procurement potential that lay right within the JSRS Community, much to the delight of our JSRS Communities since it promotes additional business opportunities and savings to them.
How do you assess foreign investor awareness of the opportunities available in Oman?
The JSRS Certified Suppliers Network (CSN) consists of thousands of certified suppliers and its strength in numbers have been steadily increasing. This is also the culmination of the efforts put in by business gateways to continuously reach out to the international business community and highlighting Oman's business potential. And as a result, we have managed to attract key organizations from many countries to Oman. Our strategy in propagating Oman's opportunities, either for procurement or investment, both culminate in partnerships with Omani companies. When an international company wants to enter Oman, we try to partner them with the right Omani companies that are on the JSRS. We believe that these credible international companies on the JSRS are equally potential candidates for Investing in Oman. This investment model is gaining notable traction because there has been a lot of recognition, especially from embassies worldwide. However, there is still a lot to be done in creating awareness amongst worldwide Investors regarding Oman and all stakeholders need to work closely to achieve this goal.
How can technology help Oman build trust and promote transparency among International Investors?
Investment is a well thought out decision and a journey. One needs to understand the opportunities, the country, the culture, its investment processes, rules, and regulations. And then once those boxes are ticked off and they decide to invest, the journey begins. We want success stories, which cannot be achieved by an individual entity and instead requires intense cooperation among all the stakeholders both from the private and the public sectors to work consistently and diligently to make it a reality. When we talk about technology from an investor perspective, it means providing them with the right platform, tools and services in investment facilitation. We need to ensure that they stay connected during this journey by delivering key support layers through online services that would impact a higher level of investor experience. Technology should empower investors to transparently escalate their problems and concerns and ensure they are being resolved in the most efficient manner. Investment-related technology should be an important enabler in supporting the laws and frameworks already put in by the Oman government and work in harmony toward achieving the set goals. In Oman, the investment bodies are doing a great job by investing heavily in technology and are building a solid foundation by aligning technology with governance. The results shall soon speak for itself.