To support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and farming and enterprising families, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the East Coast Company has launched an online platform called Souq al Ruwwad Exhibition.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Khadijah Mubark al Batashi, managing director of the company, said, “We launched the online market in April 2020 to help productive families and owners of SMEs who have been affected by the pandemic.”
Khadijah informed that Souq al Ruwwad Exhibition aims to promote Omani products and encourage the culture of entrepreneurship, besides creating trade relations and facilitating exchange of experiences between participants. “The market currently includes about 200 SMEs and productive families who sell their products. It offers a variety of products, including dates, Omani sweets, perfume, incense, gold and silver jewellery, cosmetics and gift items. There are sections for real estate and fashion too,” said Khadijah said.
According to her, convincing sponsors to participate in the online market was a difficult task.
In the long run, the company hopes to highlight investment opportunities, provide services and products appropriate for the community through exhibitions and conferences, and create jobs for the youth while giving them opportunities for education and training in the development of online exhibitions services.
“We will continue to promote Omani products, support SMEs and productive families to stimulate the economy. We will also continue to participate in regional and international exhibitions to promote Omani products and call on people to buy Omani products. We thank the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion for its support,” Khadijah said.
The total number of SMEs registered with the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Riyada) at the end of September 2020 was 46,577, which is 2.9 per cent more than the same period of 2019, according to data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information.