Abraham akkawi papp

The Oman American Business Center (OABC) invited its members and special guests to an online introduction to the Public Authority for Privatization and Partnership (PAPP), to discuss the objectives and process of PAPP and to discuss opportunities open to companies in Oman.

Fouad Eid, Vice President of the OABC, welcomed members and introduced the presenter, Mr. Abraham Akkawi, PPP advisor.  Mr. Akkawi defined the work of PAPP clearly for all attendees and discussed the objectives, process and and tendering steps to take when working with the Authority.

Samples of projects currently in the pipeline were discussed, including the Misfah Waste Water Plant, Bundle of Schools, Royal Oman Police Hospital and the new Truck Road in Salalah.

In his remarks about partnering on the event, Mr. Akkawi referred to celebrating PAPP’s one-year anniversary during the first week of July. “PAPP is now one year old, and we are signaling to the local and global market that Oman is ready to start transacting in PPPs in several priority sectors.”

“We are proud to introduce OABC’s 160 member companies to the Public Authority for Privatisation and Partnership today,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC.  “PAPP is doing a fantastic job during a difficult year, and they’re engaging the private sector and providing access to companies looking for information on PPP’s.  We thank Abraham and other stakeholders for the generous time spent connecting with the business community, and look forward to more collaboration in the future.”

Attendees were given time to ask questions at the end of the session, and more details were given on specific opportunities. Members were invited to the OABC’s next online event: ‘The Oman Project Market in Light of COVID-19,’ to be held on July 21st.  The session welcomes Edward James, Director of Content and Analysis at MEED Projects as presenter, and is open to all members. OABC will also give 20 tickets to the public, on a first come-first serve basis.

In his opening remarks, VP Fouad Eid also thanked the Premium Members of the OABC and all members who have renewed their memberships during COVID-19: “Thanks  to the support of these members, OABC will continue to connect, inform, and strengthen Oman’s business community through programs, events, B2B introductions, and other creative initiatives.”

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On Monday, June 29, OABC hosted its first-ever ‘Virtual Speed Networking’ event.

During the event, the OABC team recreated the efficiency of in-person speed networking (our tenth such event), but in an online environment using ZOOM breakout rooms.  The afternoon was an exciting and innovative way to meet other members and business professionals, one person at a time, in a fast-paced environment.  Members met a new professional connection every three minutes.

The event was appreciated by many, and in considering the event’s popular demand, OABC will host another virtual speed networking event in September.

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U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman Leslie M. Tsou underscored the potential of Oman’s ports and aviation industries to contribute to the country’s GDP and bilateral trade in her opening remarks at a June 24 webinar for U.S. businesses, trade associations, and local stakeholders.

Top officials from Oman’s Public Authority for Investment Promotion & Export Development (Ithraa), Oman Aviation Group, and the three main ports and free zones of Salalah, Duqm, and Sohar presented on opportunities for U.S. businesses.  The presenters stressed their readiness to partner with U.S. companies on multi-modal transportation system plans in the logistics sector.
For more information, check out the individual speaker presentations from the webinar:

Presenters included:

Azzan Al-Busaidi, CEO, Public Authority for Investment Promotion & Export Development (Ithraa)
Mustafa Al-Hinai, CEO, Oman Aviation Group;
Mark Hardiman, CEO, Port of Salalah;
Robert Bartstra, Executive Commercial Manager, Sohar Port & Freezone; and
Saleh Alhasani Director General of Investor Services, SEZAD

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On June 21st, Muscat Daily and OABC hosted an insightful webinar on ‘Educating Our Children in the New Normal’. The session discussed the transition of educational teaching methods to online platforms and different approaches to learning from home.

A key theme was to create a routine that suits your lifestyle and to maintain a balance between learning, engaging in physical activity and expressing oneself creatively.

We give special thanks to the panelists and OABC member Sue Groesbeck, Head of ABA, an IB World School for moderating the session and addressing this imperative subject during these unprecedented times.

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A fun evening with our staff, board and members of the OABC — our first-ever virtual cooking class with Chef @ilias_doulamis of the @grandhyattmuscat was a wonderful experience.

Members enjoyed cooking, watching, and learning traits of Italian cuisine while making potato gnocchi with rocket pesto and seasonal vegetables. We thank members for coming on board and trusting our first attempt at a more ‘social’ event — very different to a usual OABC event but we all enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect.

We give thanks to Paul Murphy GM of the Grand Hyatt and OABC Board member for sponsoring the cooking class and a very special thanks to Chef Doulamis for his time and effort in preparation for this evening.

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On June 15th, OABC hosted a Sector Update on Logistics in Oman during and after Covid-19.

Premium Member Companies DHL Express, Port of Salalah and RA Logistics participated a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Warith Al Kharusi, Chairman of Al Safwa Group and Board Member of Oman Logistics Association.

Moustafa Osman, Mark Hardiman and Colin Mckinlay answered questions on the changes and challenges faced by each of their individual businesses and discussed the future of logistical operations in Oman.
We give special thanks to each and every panelist, moderator and our Media partner @imagineOman

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On Wednesday, May 20, the OABC and members of the greater business community gathered virtually for a legal webinar in partnership with Global Advocacy and Legal Counsel (GALC).

The session addressed the following topics:
• Postponement of Tax
• Postponement of Shareholders Annual General Meetings
• Termination of Employment Relationships
• Termination of Tenancy Relationships

The event started with a talk from experts at GALC on the above topics, followed by engaging Q & A’s from members.

Global Advocacy and Legal Counsel Representatives included:
• Abdulredha Al Lawati, Partner, Oman
• Nasser Al Osaiba, Managing Partner, UAE
• Omar Al Shomali, Counsel, Hd of Corporate & Commercial

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On Monday, May 18, the OABC and members of the greater business community gathered virtually for a webinar in partnership with Amcham Bahrain and The Sedge Group.

There is immense interest in doing business with the U.S. Government. The United States government spends, on average, more than $4 trillion on goods and services each year. Everything from food supplies for ships, to office pens, and everything in between are acquired through contracts with global businesses. The session walked members through the various steps to put them on the right path to increasing revenue in this sector. One step included, ensuring one’s company is properly registered in the various government portals so attendees know where and how to bid for service contracts.

About the Author

Michael Sedge, writer, author, producer, entrepreneur and president of The Sedge Group, LLC as well as The Michael-Bruno Group of Companies (USA, Bahrain, Djibouti, Italy). Sedge is a global expert on working with the U.S. government, with 40 years experience. He is a former regional president of AMCHAM Italy, founder of the American Business Council of Djibouti, and a regional director of the Society of American Military Engineers. Mr. Sedge has lectured on doing business with the American government to groups around the world.

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OABC Premium Members attended an exclusive Online Roundtable with the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday, May 12, from 2 pm – 3 pm.

Representatives from OCCI, led by CEO Alfadhal Al Hinai, provided information about the Chamber’s recent work on behalf of the private sector during the COVID-19 crisis, and explained support channels the organization offers to businesses in Oman, with a closing discussion on the OCCI’s new transformation strategy.

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Twenty Northeastern University students representing family businesses from around the world, together with professors, panelists, ABA students, and OABC board members, participated in the Oman Family Business Forum, organized by the Oman American Business Center on March 5. The event was sponsored by the Grand Hyatt Muscat.

Members of the OABC participated a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Greg Collier, Professor of Practice at Northeastern University, and answered questions designed to encourage and impart knowledge to the students, each of whom are about to graduate and possibly enter their own family businesses.

Non-family CEO’s in Oman shared about their personal experience in serving family businesses, from the unique opportunities presented, to the differences between such organizations and other corporate structures. Other CEOs discussed their partnerships or joint ventures with family-run companies, and the importance of shared values and cultural understanding in business.

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Panelists discussed the significance of gaining industry experience upon graduation, before returning to work in the family business, and each left the students with some closing remarks about their futures, regardless of paths chosen.  Mark Rix, CEO of Apex Media, encouraged the students to “Never stop learning, no matter your age or how long you work — there is always more to learn.”

Students from the American British Academy were also invited to attend and benefit from the wealth of knowledge in the room.

“We are thrilled with the willingness of our members, each of whom are busy executives, to offer their time and support during a critical point in these students’ lives,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “Providing a space for the exchange of ideas and the building up of understanding is a key objective of the OABC. We are grateful for the opportunity to host these students from a top U.S. university, and also to discuss a topic of such great importance and interest to the Oman business community.”