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bank muscat and ITA showcase enterprising SME start ups in ICT sector

MUSCAT, 7 April 2015 – The 'Omani Start-ups & Technology' exhibition featuring SME start-ups in the field of Information Communication Technology (ICT), jointly hosted by Bank Muscat and the Information Technology Authority's Sas Programme, got off to a rousing start at the bank's head office on Tuesday (7 April 2015) under the auspices of Dr. Salim Al Ruzaiki, Chief Executive Officer of the Information Technology Authority.

Aimed at supporting Omani youth and promoting entrepreneurial initiatives, the initiative to host the exhibition stems from the bank's commitment to complement government efforts in strengthening the role of SMEs, particularly the knowledge-based sector, in the economic development of Oman.

The exhibition showcased SME start-ups in the field of information communication technology (ICT), including gaming, animation, graphic design, geographic information systems (GIS), online payment platform using telecom prepaid cards, 3D design, social media and mobile development etc. The exhibition created a platform for the participants to interact with industry experts and prospective clients in promoting their products and services.

Dr. Salim Al Ruzaiki congratulated the bank for hosting the exhibition which, he said, would provide a boost for SMEs in the ICT sector. Dr. Al Ruzaiki added: “Under the guidance of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, the government is making concerted efforts to encourage an entrepreneurial culture in the Sultanate and attract youth to embark on self-employment initiatives. ITA is proud to initiate the Sas Programme wherein enterprising youth pursuing ICT initiatives are given training and support for development. The ICT sector offers bright prospects for youth to embark on SME business ventures complementing knowledge-based industries in Oman."

The Information Technology Authority's Sas Programme aims to set up a national technology business entrepreneurship for the Sultanate in coordination and collaboration with government and non-government stakeholders to encourage entrepreneurship and the development of IT and IT related small and medium businesses.

Ilham Al Hamaid, AGM - SME Credit, Marketing & Regional Corporates, said: “Bank Muscat is proud to join hands with ITA to host the ICT start-up exhibition. The synergy between the bank and ITA will help achieve a benchmark for SME initiatives in the ICT sector in Oman. Bank Muscat has initiated a series of unique programmes benefiting SMEs in Oman and is committed to meeting all their requirements. The business environment in Oman offers tremendous opportunities and challenges for the SME sector. Aimed at strengthening the SME sector, Bank Muscat remains committed to creating self-employment opportunities for citizens, especially youth, across the Sultanate."

The enterprising youth who participated in the exhibition exuded determination to follow their business dreams in the field of information communication technology (ICT), which offers bright prospects in light of the country moving towards a digital society.

Almuatasim Al Hinai, CEO of North Systems, made a presentation highlighting the company's experience.  North Systems was established in 2011 with a specific mission to provide outstanding solutions in the domain of geographic information systems (GIS) in the Sultanate with exemplary and professional customer services, support and training. Services provided include enterprise GIS systems planning and development, web mapping applications development, mobile mapping applications development and GIS training services. In a short period of time, North Systems has won the trust of many important clients and has produced quality output in notable community projects.

Qais Mohammed Al Busaidi, promoter of United Muscat IT Solutions, said the company was successful in delivering creative output in software solutions, advertisement and game development services. Operating with technologies like Microsoft, Adobe and Apple, the company strives to empower clients and maintain high quality, unique ideas and work solutions relevant to their business needs.