Growing international opportunities for Cambridgeshire and the Sultanate of Oman

January 24, 2023

The Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce was delighted to host a roundtable event for Oman business CEOs and representatives from the Oman Investment Authority at Novotel Cambridge North last week, along with key business representatives from Cambridgeshire, to promote the local landscape and identify potential opportunities for Oman investment and for businesses to trade with Oman.

The delegation was led by Arwa Al Balushi, the first ever commercial and investment attaché at the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in London at the rank of Minister Plenipotentiary. Arwa Al Balushi is in charge of boosting the ongoing bilateral economic relations between Oman and the United Kingdom.

Supported by the post-pandemic economic recovery and improved demand for Omani products in the United States, India and the Gulf region, the sultanate’s non-oil exports jumped by more than 50 per cent in the first nine months of 2022. The growth in Omani exports suggests that the sultanate’s economy is on a strong recovery path. Supported by higher oil prices and government’s economic stimulus measures, Oman’s real GDP grew at a solid pace of 4.5 per cent in the first nine months of 2022.

Of the visit, Chair of the Cambridge & South Cams Committee and Founder of communications company Cofintitive, Faye Holland said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion with the delegation of business leaders and ministers from Oman. Having an insight into their Vision 2040 and working through areas of potential collaboration was extremely interesting.

“From a Cambridge & South Cambs perspective, there were opportunities from commodity imports, to cleantech exports, and a desire to promote the SME similar to our own aspirations herein the Chamber.

“I was also extremely interested to talk about the potential for a start-up ecosystem directed at a range of innovative technologies that align well with Cambridge’s position as the UKs Centre for Science and Technology.”

The Oman Vision 2040 was approved in December 2020 and the document revolves around 12 national priorities failing into four main pillars – A Society of Creative Individuals, A Competitive Economy, Responsible State Agencies, and An Environment with Sustainable Components. Each priority is addressed independently and the strategic direction, objective and international and national indicators are explained.

Vic Annells, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Oman delegation to Cambridge after meeting many of them at the Oman-Britain Business Conference in London the day before. Their event explained how they are looking to build a sustainable and diversified national economy and it was ideal to share this with key Cambridgeshire businesses.”

Other business attending included Martin Clapson, Managing Director of Price Bailey and Chamber Board Member, Christophe Ughetto, General Manager of Novotel Cambridge North, James Wilcox, General Manager at Huntingdon Racecourse, and Phil Mashinchi, MD of Cambridge Software Ltd.

Any businesses interested in trading with Oman can get in touch with the Chamber who will be happy to make introductions. Email or telephone 01223 237414.