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Meethaq, Thomson Reuters all set to launch online SME portal

MUSCAT, 30 December 2015 – Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, and Thomson Reuters, the world's leading source of business and financial information, are all set to launch 'Meethaq BusinessPulse', an innovative information portal targeted to promote small and medium enterprise (SME) development in Oman.

The announcement of 'Meethaq BusinessPulse' was made at a ceremony on the sidelines of 'Oman Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Conference 2015' held under the auspices of H.E. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry.

Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group General Manager – Islamic Banking, said: “Meethaq is proud to join hands with Thomson Reuters to initiate the 'BusinessPulse' aimed at linking all important stakeholders from the government and the private sector involved in the SME sector. The primary objective of the 'BusinessPulse' online platform is to provide guidance and help for SMEs to successfully navigate each stage of their business. The portal will provide important information, practical advice and value-added services on how to grow their business and take it to the next level. The portal will connect SMEs to growth opportunities and a complete ecosystem enabling their success. Whether SMEs are at the start-up stage or established businesses, the 'BusinessPulse' will provide the required guidance and advice for them to grow and prosper."

The 'Meethaq BusinessPulse' focuses on a vital topic in the context of Oman addressing the requirements of youth representing more than 50 per cent of the country's population. Fostering a congenial environment to build a strong SME culture, the 'Meethaq BusinessPulse' seeks to provide an ideal platform for all existing and aspiring entrepreneurs to explore new collaborations in SME development.

The objective of 'BusinessPulse' is envisaged to be achieved through a series of SME foundation articles, success stories videos and industry sector reports that provide in‐depth analysis on opportunities for SMEs in Oman.

Al Harthy added: “Meethaq Islamic Banking has launched various initiatives to support SME development in Oman. In light of investments expected to create significant In-Country Value (ICV) opportunities, which in the oil and gas sector alone is expected to touch $64 billion over the period 2013-2020, concerns exist whether the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are aware of these opportunities. Concerns also prevail whether the SMEs have the financial support to take advantage of these opportunities. The 'Meethaq BusinessPulse' will address these concerns by acting as a platform for information sharing and exchange of ideas on the development of SMEs and dissemination of information on how Meethaq can be the perfect Islamic financial solutions partner in the success of SMEs."

As the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman, Meethaq extends support to all key economic sectors in the Sultanate. The 'Meethaq BusinessPulse' reiterates Meethaq's commitment to fostering national talent and providing support for key sectors, notably SMEs that create meaningful employment opportunities. The role of SMEs is highly important as Oman is witnessing a gradual shift in economy towards entrepreneurial ventures.

Al Harthy said: “In line with the vision and directive of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to foster an entrepreneurial mindset, Meethaq is focused on strategic initiatives to complement and add value to the country's progress and development. Meethaq remains committed to working hand-in-hand with the government and partners to create a favourable environment for SMEs in Oman."