OABC News

Here you can browse past OABC events and recent news. Members, please contact us to share your own company promotions and news, as we love to highlight what our members are doing.

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On November 22nd, the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) hosted The State of Logistics in Oman, Past, Present, and Future, sponsored by the Port of Salalah, at the Grand Hyatt Muscat. The event included a panel discussion, moderated by OABC Board Member, Shayan Sumar, and featured panelists Sunil Joseph, CCO, Port of Salalah, Omaima Bahajaj, Marketing and Communication Manager, Salalah Free Zone, and Aisha Al Saifi, Director Market Intelligence at ASYAD Group. During the discussion, the panelists talked about significant changes in Oman’s logistics sector over the past 5 years and shared their viewpoints of current logistics trends in the Sultanate and the GCC region, and their expectations of what may occur within the sector in the years ahead.

The panel discussion included three themes: the global shipping crisis and its impact on Omani businesses, Oman’s Vision 2040, and opportunities in the Omani logistics sector. 

Panelists touched on crucial topics such as fostering further utilization of the Free Trade Agreement between Oman and the U.S, various services that Port of Salalah now offers such as sea air cargo solutions and Flexhub, as well as Salalah’s value proposition, focused on a strong integrated ecosystem.

A big part of the Salalah Value proposition is the collaborative efforts of Port of Salalah, the Free Zone, ASYAD, Salalah International Airport, and various government entities to work collectively towards highlighting Salalah as a hub to attract foreign investment to the country. To improve the ease of doing business, these entities have worked hard in recent years to provide a one-stop-shop solution. 

Towards the conclusion of the panel discussion, the floor was opened to attendees for a Q&A session. Many eagerly asked engaging questions that were relevant to various sectors in Oman and private sector members found it highly beneficial to have direct discussion with government stakeholders to analyze logistics challenges and suggest solutions. 

 We’ve received incredible feedback following this event,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC.  “Attendees were extremely grateful for the opportunity for both the private and public sector to have in-depth discussion about the sector’s goals, Oman’s Vision 2040, past obstacles, and ideas for the way forward. The main takeaway mentioned repeatedly that we need more opportunities for key conversations like this.  All of these business leaders want the same thing — an incredible but possible goal — which is to make Oman, with its unique location in the region, a world leader in logistics.

“Salalah sits on the crossroads of USD 2.5tn global trade flows, with all key regional markets accessible within a week of sailing. This is turn offers the Sultanate the opportunity to develop its logistics footprint. Unlocking Salalah’s full potential could lead to contribution of ~$9 bn to Oman´s total GDP, along with 70,000 jobs added in Dhofar,” stated Sunil Joseph, CCO of Port of Salalah during the panel discussion. 

“The event was extremely useful and much needed: it was a very important time for the private sector to sit down with government stakeholders and decision-makers to discuss logistics challenges and how to work together on solutions. OABC did an excellent job facilitating today’s event: we need to see more of these types of discussion focused sessions to connect leaders within Oman’s key sectors.” — Yousuf Al Balushi, Smart Investment Gateway.

The Port of Salalah, the Salalah Free Zone and ASYAD continue to actively contribute to Oman’s Vision 2040, and each support Oman’s economic diversification strategy. 

Strategically located on the trade crossroads between Asia and Europe and serving the markets of East Africa, the Red Sea, the Indian Subcontinent and the Arabian Gulf – the Port of Salalah is operated by APM Terminals as part of the APM Terminals global terminal network.  The port operates both a container terminal and a general cargo terminal. 

www.salalahport.com

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On November 16, 2021, the Oman American Business Center (OABC) hosted its Annual Thanksgiving Dinner under the stars at the beautiful gardens of the Grand Hyatt Muscat.

The event kicked off with lively business networking, then remarks from OABC Executive Director Rebecca Olson, who thanked the OABC’s 175 member companies for their commitment to the mission of OABC.  Olson then highlighted several positive moments from the past 2 years of OABC events and programming throughout the pandemic, including the online “Doing Business with the U.S. Military” event, regional LinkedIn networking group for U.S. Chambers of Commerce affiliate members in the GCC, and OABC’s new virtual card created for its members.  

The guest of honor, Jay Munir, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy Muscat, then shared about his experience of Thanksgiving, growing up in the United States as well as celebrating around the world as a U.S. diplomat in many different countries and diverse cultures.

Some of OABC’s member companies sponsored raffles, including Al Maamari Tours, Talabat, The Grand Hyatt Muscat, DusitD2, and Muscat Pharmacy. 

“Without making light of what we’ve all experienced, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, it’s good to remember that while there were challenges and completely unexpected moments, months of working from home with kids or pets — some very sad times for many of us — there were also some incredibly bright moments during 2020 and 2021,” Olson stated. “Our team and OABC’s Board of Directors are so looking forward to the next year of service and connection on behalf of each of our members, and we thank every one of you for being a part of it all”.

As the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman (AmCham Oman), the OABC promotes understanding, partnerships & other matters of mutual economic interest between business communities in Oman and the United States. 

Formed in 2003, the OABC’s mission is to foster the development of commercial activity between Oman and the United States.  With over 30 events annually and 175 member companies, OABC is Oman’s most active business council and networking group. 

The Oman American Business Center (OABC) is best known for hosting high-level professional networking events and informational sessions for professionals across the Sultanate.

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On November 9, 2021, members of the OABC attended a virtual event called “Wellness in Anxious Times”, facilitated by Dr. Jessica Adam, Chief Medical Officer at Alfardan Medical with Northeastern Medicine. This event was co-hosted by the AmChams in the GCC, led by the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar.

 

 

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On October 26, 2021, the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) hosted its annual Taco Tuesday Networking event at the DCM Jay Munir residence.

There were representatives from over 50 companies. OABC’s members networked, and of course enjoyed delicious tacos!

The team would like to thank Amigo’s Kitchen, Jarritos, and OUA for sponsoring the food and drinks. Taco Tuesday would not have been a success without them!

On October 20, 2021, members of the OABC attended the virtual event “How to do Business with the U.S. Military”, followed by a workshop. This virtual event was co-hosted by the AmChams in the GCC, led by American Business Council Kuwait.

This event enabled vendors to understand more about procurement opportunities with the U.S. Military, and how to register their companies through their systems in order to start doing business with the U.S. Government.

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October 20, 2021- MuscatDaily published an article titled “US-Oman Bilateral Trade Surpasses $2bn This Year.” Trade between Oman and the United States grew drastically over the last year. An increase in trade shows an increase in the relationship between the two nations. This is the best time to strengthen the relationship between Oman and the US by establishing an Omani commercial presence in the US for exporters to navigate the market.  Oman is one of only two GCC countries that has a free trade agreement with the United States.

Bilateral trade between Oman and the United States has seen significant growth since the end of 2020, according to the figures released by the US Census Bureau.

Total trade between the US and Oman reached over US$2bn as of the end of August 2021, surpassing the total trade recorded for the full year 2020.

This year Oman is running a trade surplus of US$151mn with the United States, according to the latest figures. In 2020, the top Omani exports to the US were aluminum, plastics, chemicals, other commodities, and goods in transit to Canada.

“In January 2021 alone, the US imported over US$200mn worth of Omani products,” Ali Daud, president and chairman emeritus of the Oman American Business Council (US Chamber of Commerce affiliate in Oman), said in a press statement.

“This is more than twice the average we’ve seen in the past ten years. The trade surplus is a very healthy indication that the world’s largest economy, with which Oman has a unique trade agreement, is buying Omani products,” Daud said.

He emphasized that the time is now to strengthen the relationship further by establishing a commercial presence for Oman in the United States. “This will make it easier for Omani exporters to navigate and penetrate the US market. Oman is one of only two GCC countries that have free trade agreements with the US. As a nation, Oman should build on this impressive growth in 2021, and take this success to even greater heights.”

The US Ambassador to Oman H E Leslie M Tsou said that the increased trade is a sign of the overall strength of the US-Oman relationship. “The partnership between our countries is rooted in strong historical ties of friendship, bolstered by a flourishing economic relationship.”

“We see this increase as a sign of Oman’s desirability as a destination for US investment,” she added.

The Oman American Business Center (OABC) was founded in 2003 with a mission to foster the development of commercial activity between Oman and the United States.

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On September 15th, 2021, the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) hosted its first in-person event since January 2021 at the Sheraton Oman Hotel Ballroom. 

As Oman’s largest and most active business networking group and the official affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Oman, the OABC has held many online events throughout the pandemic and even added over 70 new member companies to the community since January 2020.  With Oman’s borders and event spaces reopening, the OABC plans to host many in-person high-level networking events and informational sessions this upcoming year. 

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“While the OABC worked tirelessly to keep members connected, and utilized technologies like ZOOM to keep members connected during Covid-19, there is nothing like face-to-face business networking,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “I’ve seen members meet new contacts at in-person events, then watched these connections grow over time into strong business relationships. The entire team and the Board of Directors are so happy to see a return to physical events and wish the whole OABC community many more times of effective and enjoyable networking.”

Olson continues, “Like many ‘normal’ things that disappeared during the darkest months of the pandemic, we will never again take physical events for granted — after spending so much time isolated, online and remote, we are grateful for opportunities to meet with others, and have plenty to catch up on!” 

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As the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman (AmCham Oman), the OABC promotes understanding, partnerships & other matters of mutual economic interest between business communities in Oman and the United States. 

Formed in 2003, the OABC’s mission is to foster the development of commercial activity between Oman and the United States.  With 30 events annually and over 160 member companies, OABC is Oman’s most active business council and networking group. 

The Oman American Business Center (OABC) is best known for hosting high-level professional networking events and informational sessions for professionals across the Sultanate.

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On August 24, as the affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman, the OABC was honored to invite its members to the Role of Business in Ending the Pandemic hosted by Center for International Enterprise, AmCham MENA, the U.S Chamber of Commerce, and Business Partners to Convince.

The session featured leading public and health pharmaceutical experts to discuss the critical role of business in countering the vaccine hesitancy. They discussed the critical role of businesses in countering vaccine hesitancy in the workplace and provide related information resources with featured presentations from Samir Khalil , Executive Director of Middle East and North Africa Research at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), and other leading public health and private sector representatives.

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On June 8, the OABC together with the U.S. Embassy in Muscat organized a private roundtable discussion with Rick Anguiuoni, Business Development Specialist and Regional Director of Africa at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, via zoom.

The roundtable discussion introduced key stakeholder and heads of corporate working in the top banks of Oman to the mission and services of Exim Bank. Attendees also discussed the statues of financing opportunities already provided by EXIM Bank in Oman and discussed new ways to facilitate additional trade collaboration between EXIM Bank and Omani banks and companies.

The session featured opening remarks by U.S. Ambassador to Oman Leslie Tsou and a presentation by Rick Angiuoni followed by a time of discussion.

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On May 25, OABC in partnership with Cigna, the global health services provider hosted a webinar on ‘The Impact Of COVID-19 On Employees’ Wellbeing And Solutions For Employers’.
This webinar was dedicated to helping members and their teams manage changes and challenges faced over the past year. Raed Labaki, General Manager at Cigna, walked attendees through the impact of COVID-19 on employee’s mental health and shared powerful tools and practical guidelines to help members manage their team’s wellness.
Cigna also shared the results of their COVID-19 Global Impact Study, pointing out trends specific to Oman and the Middle East.