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Exhibition to support SMEs affected by COVID-19

28 Dec 2021 By MOHAMMED TAHA

Muscat – East Coast of Organizing Exhibitions, in coordination with the Authority of Small and Medium Enterprises Development, will hold an exhibition – Souq East Coast – to support Omani small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and promote their products.

The three-day exhibition will be held at Mall of Muscat from December 29 to 31.

Speaking to Muscat Daily, Khadijah Mubark al Batashi, managing director of East Coast of Organizing Exhibitions, said, “We will hold the exhibition to help SME owners who are affected by the pandemic.”

Khadijah said that the 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 will include about 50 SMEs who will get an opportunity to sell their products. Souq East Coast will offer a variety of products, including dates, Omani sweets, perfume, incense, gold and silver jewellery, cosmetics and gift items. There will be sections for real estate and fashion, too,” she said.

“Owners of SMEs faced many problems, including lack of markets to buy and sell products and the high price of shipping since the beginning of the pandemic. We held an online exhibition to support SMEs earlier, but it was not enough.”

Talking about e-commerce, she said, “Unfortunately, e-commerce and online purchases in Oman are not very popular. Society needs more awareness of the importance of e-commerce. Physical exhibitions held in shopping malls are very important because these still are in demand. Many people want to see the goods and meet the seller face-to-face. I think e-commerce is the future but we need to create awareness about it among members of society.

“Private companies must play a vital role in supporting e-commerce and they should also support SMEs in facing any challenges and obstacles that may occur in the future.”

Khadijah informed that East Coast of Organizing Exhibitions will continue to promote Omani products and support SMEs 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.”

The total number of SMEs registered with the Authority of Small and Medium Enterprises Development till the end of November 2021 was 62,335, compared to 47,802 in the same period of 2020, an increase of 30 per cent.

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