Pioneer Investors – Oman Daily newspaper published a press report stating that investments in Omani emerging technology companies exceeded the barrier of 115 million Omani riyals, and the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology confirmed the continuation of its plans to strengthen this sector, including the re-launching of the emerging technology companies support center in the complex. The Oman platform for emerging technology companies will be relaunched to promote innovation in Muscat and boost the ecosystem for emerging technology companies.
In this context, the Ministry said that these efforts aim to enhance cooperation between emerging technology companies, supporters, investors, and concerned parties to raise the efficiency of the sector.
The Ministry also works to cooperate with various entities concerned with entrepreneurship and emerging technology companies in implementing programs and initiatives that strengthen these companies and contribute to their success.
The Ministry indicated that it is working to implement the digital industry program, which directly supports emerging technology companies in the Sultanate of Oman, and aims to increase the contribution of the digital economy to the gross domestic product to no less than 3% by 2025 and 10% by 2040, as well as attracting international technology companies. Major companies on the Fortune 500 list to establish an operational unit in the Sultanate of Oman, to provide local and regional value-added services. The program also aims to list three companies in the field of information technology on the Muscat Stock Exchange.
The Ministry launched many initiatives and programs to support technology companies, such as the Jadara initiative to facilitate the benefit of technology products in government agencies and provide the necessary support to emerging companies to facilitate the entry of their local technology products into the government market, which was launched in 2022 and during the first batch, 10 technology products passed the evaluation stage. 4 government agencies benefited from 4 products, and the second batch is currently under implementation with 10 other technical products. It also launched the Business Development and Commercial Expansion Initiative, which is concerned with searching for business opportunities and linking them with technical and emerging companies, as well as open areas for expansion by connecting them with investors and participating in specialized events, whether at the local, regional or global level.
The Ministry explained that it is launching the “Nomu” program this month, and the program is concerned with supporting emerging technology companies in the growth stage to support their expansion and growth, and work to solve the challenges they face, referring to the SAS 48 Hackathon competition, which is concerned with transforming emerging technical ideas into realistic projects that contribute In solving problems and saving time, effort and money, this year’s hackathon focuses on the field of relief technologies. The Ministry will also soon launch an initiative to promote emerging technology companies, which is concerned with providing access to advertising space on various platforms to expand the customer base of emerging technology companies and their spread.
Flexibility to adapt
Abdullah Al-Saeedi, an economic researcher, said: Many countries around the world are betting that startup companies are the primary engine for economic growth, and they are among the projects that are relied upon for creativity, innovation, and pumping the latest innovations into the market, as well as adding value to the economy. Start-up companies are also a plan to help achieve recovery. economic and getting rid of rentier sectors, whether oil or other sectors that countries are trying to get rid of.
Al-Saidi added that countries are currently moving towards stimulating and supporting startup companies because of their prominent role in creating huge financial wealth and providing permanent job opportunities for young people. Startups have rapid growth, which means generating revenues faster at a lower cost. They also advance their business without costs, as profits grow. Significantly, it provides added value to the economy and accelerates growth. Al-Saidi explained that startup companies depend on innovation, creativity, and the use of technology, they are companies that have an innovative nature that differs from existing companies in the market, in addition that they have flexibility in adapting to changes, and they start with low capital costs, especially in the construction stage, and one of their advantages is also specialization, as they are specialized. In one field, its focus is on its field while trying to develop it, unlike other companies that have reached the growth stage and are not growing quickly.
Al-Saidi stated that one of the characteristics of startup companies is that they are close to society and the changes in consumer tastes, so they are based on the reality of society and fill some of the gaps that the consumer faces in terms of meeting his desires and maintain their competitiveness through growth and competition to reach a high level, which makes them attractive to foreign capital and investors. Because it can establish its presence in any country and any economy.
Al-Saeedi continued his speech. It also contributes to meeting the requirements of the local market, which contributes to reducing the trade deficit through substituting imports and developing exports, in addition to providing foreign exchange, which is an added value to the economy and supports the country’s foreign reserves.
The importance of support
For his part, Dr. Qais Al-Sabai, an economic expert, said: The government of the Sultanate of Oman has adopted ambitious plans to support emerging companies, including the launch of the Oman Platform for Start-ups, which is a new platform aimed at linking emerging Omani companies to the field of innovation and providing the necessary resources and resources for them. The importance of emerging companies lies in stimulating… A system of companies based on artificial intelligence, innovation, and technology, promoting investments and foreign economic entities coming into the Sultanate of Oman and imposing local value on them, creating sustainable financing and investment solutions, preparing a cadre of Omani youth specialized in artificial intelligence and digital transformation, clean energy, and economic diversification, and providing several jobs. In various fields.
Al-Sabai added: Start-up companies are a fertile field that attracts wide segments of Omanis in various sectors, with the possibility of Omani start-up companies becoming international companies and having an international reputation. They play the role of catalyst and encourager of local and international economic growth and carry out their business and expand through responsible growth, which is growth. This takes into account the requirements of the environment to reduce harmful emissions to the environment, in addition to being a giant economic entity in the global economy, which leads to change and positivity in achieving social well-being. It is also considered a leading political and economic destination for investors, economists, merchants, entrepreneurs, and those interested in artificial intelligence.
The government of the Sultanate of Oman has taken several important steps to encourage young people to engage in entrepreneurship, perhaps the most prominent of which is the launch of the Promising Omani Emerging Companies Programme, as an entity concerned with encouraging this important type of business and determining its strategic directions by the goals of economic diversification. The program aims to encourage the system of companies based on technology and innovation, and escalate Several emerging Omani institutions to the regional and global level, spreading the culture of startup companies in educational institutions, and raising community awareness of its importance. The Sultanate of Oman also announced the establishment of the Oman Future Fund to stimulate the venture investment system in emerging, small, and medium-sized Omani companies, to support their access to the latest innovations and advanced technologies and their localization. The International Startup Genome Foundation, which specializes in developing the startup and innovation ecosystem, ranked the Sultanate of Oman among the top 10 countries in the Middle East and North Africa in the areas of markets that attract talent at a reasonable cost for startups and the abundance of venture capital financing, and among the top 15 countries in terms of the speed of development and performance of the ecosystem. Start-up companies, where the total market value of Omani start-up companies exceeded 300 million US dollars.
International institutions concerned with development affairs work to encourage emerging companies with support and financing, and the International Finance Corporation has launched a risk capital platform worth $225 million. The platform is directed to emerging markets to strengthen digital economies in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Pakistan to support economic growth in many developing regions and to provide… Solutions to development challenges through technological innovations in climate, healthcare, education, agriculture, e-commerce, and other sectors. Investment in emerging companies is witnessing good demand in the Middle East region, as financing rates for these companies are increasing and government investment funds are increasingly turning to emerging companies for multiple goals, including achieving good returns on investment and supporting the prospects for economic diversification.