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Equal National Opportunities forum showcases innovative entrepreneurial experiences

 The Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ), in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, organized the second edition of the “National Equal Opportunities” initiative. The forum showcased 11 innovative experiences of Omani entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium enterprises.

The presentations shed light on the thriving Omani SME ecosystem nurtured by a supporting business environment, and the proliferation of special economic zones, free zones, and industrial cities. A public exhibition enabled SMEs to display their innovative goods and services. Through networking, knowledge-sharing, and experience-sharing with officials and personnel, this show aided SMEs in selling their goods and services.

“The primary objectives of OPAZ are to plan and develop, organise and supervise, facilitate and provide post-service care, market and attract investment, operate and accelerate and achieve institutional excellence,” stated Saleh bin Hamoud al Hassani, Advisor to the Chairman of OPAZ. “This initiative aims to create a fair and equal business environment that expands the role of the private sector in sustainable development, encourages innovation and entrepreneurship, boosts investment and economic growth in special economic zones and free zones, and helps build a supportive and encouraging business environment for SMEs.”

Hussam bin Salam al Kharusi, a senior official at the Oman Future Fund, said that 10% of the fund’s capital has been allocated to investments that fall within the umbrella of small and medium enterprises and venture capital. He added that the fund targets various investment sectors with the exception of the oil and gas sectors and the real estate sector.

Supporting the Equal National Opportunities Forum were the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn), Salalah Free Zone, Sohar Free Zone, Khazaen Economic City, Al Mazunah Free Zone, Development Bank, Future Fund Oman, and the Directorate General of Agricultural and Animal Research.

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