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Bank Muscat SME workshop in Sohar highlights growth avenues

MUSCAT, 12 March 2014 – A 2-day workshop on Global Trade Finance organized by Bank Muscat for the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in Batinah region concluded with strong response from existing and prospective entrepreneurs in the region. Women entrepreneurs attended the workshop on the first day at Crowne Plaza, Sohar, followed by another session for male counterparts on the second day. The workshop was organized by al Wathbah, Bank Muscat’s SME department, aimed at expanding and strengthening avenues for SME development in Oman.

Expert trainers familiarised the participants with the scope of widening their SME ventures beyond the national boundaries. Topics covered included introduction to various instruments of trade finance, including import letter of credit, letter of guarantee loans against trust receipts, and other advances against local bills discounts, government supply bill discounting, export credit etc.

Ali Jama, Senior Regional Manager – North Batinah, said: “Bank Muscat regularly organises workshops and seminars across the Sultanate to facilitate unique learning opportunities to address the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and thereby create an environment favourable for SME success. Batinah region is witnessing major development in various sectors, offering attractive opportunities for SME ventures. The workshop was aimed at equipping SMEs to successfully utilise the various business opportunities in the region.”

Over the years, Bank Muscat has launched several initiatives as part of its commitment to SME development in Oman. Serving as building blocks for entrepreneurs, these initiatives assume importance in the backdrop of the priority accorded by the government to develop the SME sector in Oman.

In line with the directives of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to support the SME sector and strengthen its role in the economic development of Oman, Bank Muscat has taken the lead to develop the SME sector in Oman. The first-of-its-kind initiatives recently launched by al Wathbah include an innovative SME financing programme not requiring collateral guarantee. The al Wathbah SME Non-Collateral Programme is a bold step affirming the bank’s commitment to encouraging an entrepreneurial culture in Oman.