• March 01, 2016

SOHAR participates in Muscat Business Innovation Forum

SOHAR Port and Freezone took part in the Business Innovation Forum this week, with SOHAR Port CEO Andre Toet participating in an industry panel discussion on ‘Shaping the future of logistics through innovation’.

The two-day event, organized in cooperation between the Omani Government and the Dutch Regional Economic Network in the Gulf, was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Muscat. The forum brings together Oman-based and Dutch entrepreneurs, government officials and researchers in the field of logistics and maritime, and aims to build on the existing close relationship between Oman and the Netherlands as well as creating opportunities for further collaboration.

Speaking to media during the event, SOHAR Port CEO Andre Toet said: “The Business Innovation Forum is a fantastic opportunity for international minds to come together and discuss future trends. This year, as part of our panel discussion, we focused on topics such as the ease of doing business in Oman and how to stay competitive. It is key for us at SOHAR Port and Freezone to remain innovative in order to stay on top of our game.”

Andre Toet continued: “For example, we recently implemented a new port management system which provides shipping agents a platform to access and exchange information; we have also improved our customs services with the implementation of a customs Bayan system. As well as this, our state-of-the-art container terminal, managed by OICT, recently introduced a new automatic truck appointment system to reduce turnaround times, increase efficiency and ultimately reduce the cost of doing business.”

As part of the event an SME competition was held, encouraging participants to get creative. The competition was an opportunity for young people to win great prizes that included a fact-finding trip the Netherlands; a one day visit to SOHAR Port and Freezone with a guided tour of the facilities; and a one-day workshop focusing on soft skills for entrepreneurs, led by Shell Oman.

SOHAR Freezone CEO Jamal Aziz summed up when he said: “The Oman Logistics Strategy 2040 is a key focus for us as the nation looks to diversify its economy and transform the Sultanate into a regional logistics powerhouse. Progressing with our planning is one key to success, but there also needs to be a practical shift right across the board towards ease of doing business, in order for Oman to really excel in this area.