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Support for SME development by Bank Muscat

MUSCAT, 14 February 2017 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, and Meethaq Islamic Banking extended support to the 3-day seminar on SME Development organised by Oman Development Bank (ODB) in association with the Association of National Development Finance Institutions in Member Countries of the Islamic Development Bank (ADFIMI) under the auspices of H.E Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry.

In line with the vision and directive of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to stimulate an entrepreneurial mind-set, Bank Muscat is aligned with the national objective to complement and add value to the country's progress and development. Bank Muscat works hand-in-hand with the government and partners to create a favourable environment for SMEs in Oman.

Bank Muscat has initiated a series of innovative programmes benefiting SMEs. The bank's al Wathbah SME department offers a comprehensive suite of tailor-made finance solutions and non-financial services targeted at small and medium enterprises. Credit facilities, both short-term and long-term in nature, are available to all sectors.

Further support is extended through non-financial services in areas of education, coaching, networking opportunities and workshops. One such example is the bank's al Wathbah Academy. The objective of this ongoing educational initiative is to impart the required skills and guidance for entrepreneurs drawn from diverse fields to embark on successful SME business ventures.

al Wathbah Women Business Forum is a first-of-its-kind networking initiative to provide guidance and help for women entrepreneurs to develop the requisite attitude, skills and abilities for leadership in business. The main objective of the forum is to play an important role in filling the gaps and empowering Omani businesswomen.

al Wathbah Businesswomen's Award has become a major annual celebration aimed at appreciating and recognising Omani women entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence in their business and benefiting the community.

Giving a major thrust for micro and small businesses to play an important role in diversifying the Sultanate's economy and creating job opportunities for Omani youth, Bank Muscat najahi products and services have created a benchmark.

As the powerhouse of Islamic finance in Oman, Meethaq extends support to all key economic sectors in the Sultanate. Meethaq is committed to fostering national talent and providing support for SMEs that create meaningful employment opportunities.

Serving as building blocks for existing and prospective entrepreneurs, all these initiatives by Bank Muscat and Meethaq assume importance in the backdrop of the priority accorded by the government to develop the SME sector in Oman. The role of SMEs is highly important as Oman is witnessing a gradual shift in economy towards SMEs, addressing the requirements of youth representing more than 50 per cent of the country's population.