Muscat – Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) is set to establish a centre for economic studies, research and investment this year, as announced by Faisal Abdullah al Rawas, Chairman of its Board of Directors. This initiative aims to address private sector challenges and boost investments.
In an interview to Oman TV’s Maa el Shabab programme, Rawas outlined the chamber’s role in fostering commercial and industrial relations and representing the private sector in government and international forums.
He stressed the importance of engaging with OCCI’s 300,000 members, including a range of small to large companies, across 18 committees covering various sectors in the sultanate. “A new automotive sector committee is expected to be added in the next two months.”
Rawas emphasised the chamber’s commitment to involving business owners in committees and focusing on identifying and solving private sector challenges. “The chamber is actively working on developing governance principles, enhancing public-private sector collaboration, and maintaining communication with business owners. A decentralised approach across governorates is also a key focus area.”
OCCI’s internal operations are being streamlined through a new system and an internal review of legislation and regulations to align with governance standards is in progress. Rawas refuted the perception of profit-driven traders, highlighting the growing trend of corporate social responsibility among businesses, with many allocating a specific portion of their budget for comprehensive CSR programmes.
Highlighting Oman Vision 2040’s focus on the national economy and private sector growth, Rawas noted the private sector’s contribution – over 60% – to the gross domestic product. “The increasing partnership between the public and private sectors is evident in government tenders being assigned to the private sector, enhancing its role in the national economy.”
Family businesses, which form a substantial part of the registered companies in Oman, play a pivotal role in the economy, he added. “The chamber is dedicated to catering to the diverse needs of these companies, with particular support for family businesses.”
Rawas concluded by addressing the country’s employment concerns, noting the high percentage of expatriates in the workforce, predominantly unskilled labour.