OMAN. On Saturday 26 May, Royal Decree 35/2012 announced the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development’s (PAIPED) affiliation with the Sultanate’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For over fifteen years PAIPED - formerly known as OCIPED - has played a crucial role in courting the interest of international companies and promoting the Sultanate’s non-oil exports. Indeed, it has played a significant role in attracting investment to Oman.
PAIPED’s Director General of Marketing and Media, His Highness Sayyid Faisal Al Said, commented that the PAIPED-Ministry of Foreign Affairs affiliation places the PAIPED team in a stronger position to help champion investment and promote non-oil exports.
HH Sayyid Faisal also emphasized the importance of investment, as well as export promotion, in the changing global economic structure. Explaining that PAIPED recognizes the need to define Oman’s business offer in detail and promote the Sultanate more actively, His Highness explained: “Our focus is on attracting high quality, well-resourced companies which will look on their investment in Oman as long-term.”
“Oman offers both domestic and international companies a unique opportunity where there’s not only sound government support for innovation and enterprise but also a deep pool of talented people with skills from which companies can build a strong and sustainable business base.”
“The new affiliation” suggested Sayyid Faisal: “Will facilitate stronger and more positive messaging as well as help PAIPED build on and harnesses the skills, networks and support of public and private sector partners to deliver investment and export success to Oman.”
Reinforcing Sayyid Faisals’ comments, PAIPED’s Director General, Investment Department, Eng. Nisreen Jaffar said: “There’s fierce competition for investment but Oman has an excellent track record.”
Eng. Jaffar continued: “Remaining competitive in the new global economy - in which developing nations across the world are growing rapidly - depends in part on national policies. It’s in this context that PAIPED developed the Investment Promotion Strategy which focuses on key sectors and target markets.”
She also suggests that the future of the Omani economy depends largely on the policies made here, at home. “For Omani companies, and for the country itself, to remain competitive depends in part on our investment and trade policies - these are areas we’re very much focussing our efforts on.”
“A stronger private sector brings skills, talent, know-how, technology, management and training plus supply chain opportunities. This is a win-win scenario for Oman.”
On the export front, and according to figures released by the former Ministry of National Economy, Oman has seen the value of its non-oil exports rise to RO3.033 billion in 2011 a jump of 23.8 per cent from RO2.448 billion in 2010 This success is in line with the export strategy developed by PAIPED which identified thrust products and target markets.
“There are a lot of innovative Omani companies out there which are seriously growing their exports. Evidence shows there’s a positive link between innovation, research and development and export. This is where Omani companies are focusing their attention. Our new affiliation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will significantly help us take our work on and up,” commented the Authority’s Faris Al Farsi, Acting Director General of Export Development.
Supporting PAIPED’s investment and export activities is its Research Department. “Our economic research and analysis program aims to provide the Authority with the required economic information to plan investment and export promotion activities – enabling us to target particular sectors and industries for both investment attraction and export development,” said Dr. Mehdi Ali Juma PAIPED’s Expert for Economic Research.
Adding: “My team is also involved in gathering intelligence and conducting research to sustain and enhance Oman’s competitiveness. This is important work.”
As a result of the Royal Decree, five directorates now exist within PAIPED: Investment Promotion; Export Development; Marketing and Media; Research and IT Services; and Administration and Finance.
PAIPED is Investors in People (IiP) certified which is all about encouraging good people management practice.
“As a public sector organization we promote good people management practice through our induction, probation, appraisal, evaluation, effective communication, leadership and management and staff development programs. Moreover, we recognize that people are our greatest asset and being IiP certified certainly helps us manage organizational change and improve our overall performance,” said Ali bin Rashid Al Balushi, PAIPED’s Director General of Finance and Administration.
PAIPED’s Director General of Finance and Administration went on to conclude: “We also follow a successful Quality Management System that helps monitor all aspects of PAIPED’s activities. This allows us to manage, track and report all our quality metrics in real-time and comply with regulations and ISO standards 9001-2008. Indeed, we’re constantly looking at ways to develop our team, making sure they’re equipped with the skills and knowledge required to meet the challenges of today’s ever-competitive global business environment.”