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Meethaq joins hands with SEZAD to highlight Duqm investment opportunities

MUSCAT, 24 June 2014 – Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, as part of its commitment to national development initiatives, joined hands with the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD) to host 'Duqm Calls Upon India: Forum on Investment Opportunities' at Bank Muscat head office on Tuesday (24 June 2014).

Against the backdrop of Oman's strategic economic diversification programme and the emergence of Islamic financial services industry, the forum spotlighted investment opportunities for Indian investors in Duqm as well as new possibilities and collaborations in Islamic banking and finance vis-à-vis the investment opportunities in Duqm.

The high profile forum was attended by H.E. Yahya bin Said Al Jabri, Chairman of the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD), H.E. J S Mukul, Indian Ambassador to the Sultanate, prominent Indian investors and senior officials of SEZAD and Bank Muscat.

H.E Yahya bin Said Al Jabri said: “The Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD) aims to become a model of integrated economic development comprising an industrial hub for heavy, medium and light industries and a modern city. The objective is to achieve the Sultanate's vision of a truly sustainable city in Duqm with unique international amenities, business and tourism attractions to serve the nation, the region and the world. The aim is to develop Duqm as one of the best locations to visit, live, work and invest in the Middle East. The pursuit of this objective offers attractive investment opportunities and we are delighted to showcase them to Indian investors."

Experts addressed the forum highlighting strategic projects currently under way in Duqm, including the port, dry dock facilities, new airport, refinery and upcoming tourism and Duqm city development. The deliberations covered policy issues, investment framework, tax benefits and business opportunities in Duqm Special Economic Zone, highlighting its significance at the local, regional and world level.

Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group General Manager – Islamic Banking, said: “Meethaq is proud to join hands with the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD) to host this distinguished forum as a platform to interact with prominent Indian investors. Meethaq recognises the immense investment prospects and potential that Duqm offers and is committed to supporting the strategic national initiative to develop Al Wusta Governorate and identify opportunities aimed at attracting investments in line with Oman's Vision 2020 economic blueprint. The support to the forum comes as part of the bank's endeavours to share experience and facilitate collaboration opportunities, highlighting the investment opportunities in Duqm stemming from its strategic location."

In 2012-2013, bilateral trade between Oman and India stood at $ 4.5 billion. During the five year period from 2008-09 to 2012-13, the Oman-India bilateral trade increased by 129 per cent. India was Oman's second largest destination for its non-oil exports and its fourth largest source for imports. Indian and Omani firms have undertaken joint ventures in a wide range of sectors, including fertilisers, pharmaceuticals, energy and engineering.