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The OABC hosted our annual Christmas Celebration at the Zale Beach Club and Lounge, at the Kempinski Hotel on Tuesday, 17th December from 7 – 9 pm.

New and old members came together for an evening filled with cheerful music, business networking, drinks and festive fare, all in the name of Christmas cheer!

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We are also pleased to have the U.S. Embassy’s Chargé d’affaires Stephanie Hallett as our special guest of honor for this event.

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Find more pictures on our Facebook page.

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The Oman American Business Center (OABC) organized its Biennial General Meeting at the Sundus Rotana to review its progress over the past two years and to provide attendees with a unique networking opportunity. Welcoming OABC company members, VIPs from the Oman business community, and representatives from the U.S. Embassy, the event on December 9th concluded with OABC’s biennial Board of Directors election. A host of new and returning board members were elected, including some of the Sultanate’s most accomplished private sector executives and entrepreneurs.

During the OABC’s elections, 7 members of the center were elected to serve on the board. Four members maintained ex-officio or permanent seats including Ali Daud, Chairman and Co-founder of the OABC;  Emmee Haun, Co-founder of the OABC; Fouad Eid, Vice-President of the OABC; and Andrew Barwig, Commercial Officer at the US Embassy in Muscat.

The seven members welcomed to the Board of Directors included Bill Crew, Founder and CEO of Inspired Solutions; Girish Chawla, CEO of Tawoos Power and Telecom LLC; Marla Valdez, Head of Office and Partner at Clyde & Co in Oman, acting in association with Fatma Al Mamari Advocacy and Legal Consultancy Firm; Paul Murphy, General Manager of the Grand Hyatt Muscat; Shayan Sumar, Co-founder and Marketing Manager of Apex Transgulf Manufacturing; Talal al Subhi, Executive Director of Rohn International Products Arabia; and Vairali Mehta, Chief Operating Officer at Muscat Pharmacy.

 

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“Since our last General Meeting, the OABC has joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as its official affiliate (AmCham) in Oman and has also built up its regional relationships with other AmChams and partners greatly expanding our network as a business organization,” commented Mr. Daud. “We have taken our mission of fostering business between Oman and the United States very seriously and are glad to see an increase in exports from both nations through the opportunities provided by the Oman-US Free Trade Agreement.”

Mr. Daud continues “Data published by the US Department of Commerce shows that American trade exports to the Omani market totalled around $2.415 billion last year, up from $1.984 billion in 2017. Omani exports escalated to $1.275 billion last year, up from $1.066 billion in 2017.  For the past 15 years, the OABC has been a platform providing information and connections for those involved in the Oman-U.S. business.  We’ve witnessed and helped nurture the burgeoning commercial ties that bind our two countries, fulfilling our role as a gateway to better understanding opportunities and partnerships.”

Fouad Eid, Vice President of the OABC, also commented, saying, “As a professional membership organization, the OABC has experienced significant growth in the past 2 years, despite challenging times for many businesses. We find that now, more than ever, companies from SMEs to large corporates are signing up for membership and seeking out events where they can network and build strong relationships in the Oman business community. We are delighted to report that total membership in the organization is up 27%, bringing the total number of member companies to 165.

Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC, stated: “The combination of new executives constantly joining the organization, together with the commitment of our long-time members, adds vibrancy to our networking and knowledge-sharing events, as well as new opportunities for all.”

The OABC also announced its new mobile app at the event.  The app will host exclusive offers on B2B services only available to members of the organization.  It will also allow member companies to advertise to high-level executives and promote their events, programs, and initiatives throughout OABC’s full network of business leaders and professionals.
A key reference point for SMEs, entrepreneurs, and business executives, the OABC was founded to maintain the strong economic bonds between business communities in the Sultanate and the USA. The OABC has grown more than threefold over the last several years and has risen to become one of the Sultanate’s most active business groups with around 30 events annually. In addition to a wide variety of benefits set to be introduced later this year, the OABC has organized a number of highly informative seminars since its last BGM, including the ‘Oman’s Evolving Legislative and Tax Landscape’ and the Renewable Energy Series, among other events.
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Over 140 company members of the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) came together to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday on November 25th at the Grand Hyatt Muscat.  Guests enjoyed the traditional American feast, from turkey dinner to classic pumpkin pies, along with high-level business networking.

Members and executives from the business community were joined by two guests of honor: H.E. Qais Al Yousif, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and U.S. Ambassador Marc J. Sievers.

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The Anual Discover America was concluded on Sunday, October 20th, by celebrating and networking at the Deputy Chief of Mission’s Residence with U.S. Ambassador Sievers, an event co-hosted in partnership with the U.S. Embassy. We want to thank our members and guests for joining us and making the evening a delightful one, congratulate all the raffle winners, and extend our thanks to all of our sponsors for supporting Discover America and being a part of its success.

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As part of the annual Discover America campaign, the OABC hosted its 3rd Tech Talk Series, this time with Microsoft. AbdelKarim Abu Jaber, Territory Sales and Channel Manager at Microsoft conducted a seminar on digital transformation and cloud technologies. Attendees, together with the speaker, discussed the strategies taken in today’s technological age that aim to organize and manage different kinds of businesses. Microsoft has recently joined the OABC as a Premium Member, and we look forward to future collaboration together.

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On Monday, October 7th, the OABC and members of the greater business community in Oman gathered together to hold a tax and legal seminar, in partnership with EY Oman and Clyde & Co at the Grand Hyatt Muscat. The experts discussed new laws that were issued over the summer, which were designed to promote business in Oman. These include the five Royal Decrees on Privatization, Bankruptcy, Foreign Capital Investment, Partnership Between Public and Private Sectors and additional amendments to the tax laws.

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We were at the W Hotel on October 14th, 2019, for a seminar on the Free Trade Agreement, in partnership with the US Embassy and the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Ambassador Marc J. Sievers and HE Qais from Chamber of Commerce along with three OABC Members spoke about their experiences with the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement.

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OABC Premium Member Asha Enterprises has graciously invited OABC’s Premium Members to dine at Mumtaz Mahal on October 9th to launch of the restaurant’s new Street Eats menu. The tapas-style menu was highlighted briefly by Chef Tryon and Manager Henry, and raffles, delicious food, and networking followed on the outdoor terrace.

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Presented by the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman), in partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service and U.S. Embassy

The Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman), the U.S.
Commercial Service, and the U.S. Embassy are pleased to announce the launch of the fifth
annual Discover America campaign in Oman. The regional campaign will first launch in
Oman from October 11 to October 19, then subsequently launch in the U.A.E., Qatar,
Bahrain, and Kuwait. The campaign will feature a series of trade promotion events that
celebrate strong U.S.-Omani economic ties and showcase American businesses, technology,
food, music, and film.

This year is especially significant because it marks the ten-year anniversary of the U.S.-
Oman Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which has helped Oman more than double its exports
to the U.S. and conversely, helped lower the price of and increase access to U.S. imports in
Oman. In 2018, the FTA helped generate more than $4 billion in trade between the two
countries. The weeklong series of events kicks off on October 11 when the U.S. Air Forces Central
Command Band will perform American jazz and pop music at the Hormuz Grand Muscat
hotel and City Centre Muscat mall. To showcase American foods and products, Lulu
Hypermarkets and U.S.-branded retails stores such as Starbucks and Bath & Body Works
will offer special promotions and discounts from October 13 to October 19.

Shifting gears to trade and investment, on October 14, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry
(OCCI) will host a seminar focused on utilizing the FTA. With technology playing a
prominent role in accelerating global economic development, Microsoft executives will
discuss the flagship U.S. company’s new cloud-based services in Oman, as part of a “Tech
Talk” series hosted by the AmCham Oman on October 15. AmCham Oman will also be
hosting on the same day a U.S. franchise consultant who can provide advice and
connections to investors interested in establishing a U.S franchise in Oman. The campaign
concludes with a screening of an award-winning documentary film “America’s Musical
Journey,” as narrated by Morgan Freeman, at VOX Cinema on October 16.

Throughout the week, the U.S. Embassy team, including U.S. Ambassador to Oman Marc J.
Sievers, will attend events and visit various U.S. retail outlets that are promoting the U.S.
products and brands. “The Discover America campaign provides Omanis and expat
residents an opportunity to enjoy a slice of American life and is a prime example of how
public-private partnerships can have a positive impact on strengthening our bilateral economic relationship.

The campaign was initiated as a fun and innovative way to bring
our two peoples closer together and, at the same time, to help Omanis see the increasing
interest American companies have in contributing to Oman’s future.” said Ambassador
Sievers.

AmCham Oman Executive Director Rebecca Olson also stated, “The Oman American
Business Center (AmCham Oman) is proud to support Discover America each year, and
together with the U.S. Embassy in Muscat, we take great pride in highlighting U.S.
companies, brands, technology, and business, as the official affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce in Oman. We look forward to a week of interesting and informative events for
the public and to highlighting unique flavors, sights, and sounds of the U.S.A.”

This year’s Discover America partners include Oman American Business Center (AmCham
Oman), U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Embassy Muscat, BrandUSA, Oman Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, Microsoft, Lulu Hypermarket, City Centre Muscat, Muscat Daily,
Apex Media, Hormuz Grand Muscat, Grand Hyatt, VOX Cinemas, and OUA.

For additional information, please visit:
• Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman): https://oabc.org/
• U.S. Commercial Service: https://2016.export.gov/discoveramerica/
• U.S. Embassy: https://om.usembassy.gov/

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OABC Members were invited to Bait Al Reem to to attend to a short presentation by the National Training Fund, while enjoying coffee and donuts. The NTF has highlighted their apprenticeship and training for employment initiatives in their presentation.

Members from different companies came to learn from the NTF about how to meet Omanization goals through new flexible funding programs, including SME development and support. Attendees enjoyed the donuts sponsored by 3rd Street Donuts while networking in this event.