The Oman Switzerland Friendship Association, together with its co-hosting partner Switzerland Global Enterprise (the official Swiss consultancy organization for export and investment promotion) and supported by the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in Berne, is organizing their 3rd Oman Switzerland Business Forum.
Topic: Investment and Co-operation Potential in Renewable Energies, Infrastructure and Tourism: Best Practices and Outlook
The Forum is the flagship event among numerous activities in the framework of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of diplomatic relations between Oman and Switzerland.
As with the first two editions of OSFA’s Business Forums, which brought together 100-150 entrepreneurs from Oman and Switzerland in Bern in 2019and Muscat in 2022, high-level speakers will cover key economic sectors, followed by sector-specific workshops and face-to-face business meetings:
– Energy and Cleantech
– Infrastructure and Logistics
From Oman, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, the Undersecretary of Heritage and Tourism, and the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology will attend. On the Swiss side, the Head of International Affairs at the Swiss Federal Office of Energy as well as the EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials, Science and Technology) and a representative of the Board of Directors of Switzerland Tourism will contribute keynotes and best practices.
This will be a unique opportunity for the participants to collaborate with Omani and Swiss counterparts; networking and learning, sharing ideas, knowledge and experiences. The interest in the hot topics and the bilateral exchange is enormous – 3 weeks before the event, the forum is already fully booked. CASCI met Dr Anka Kästner to talk about the organization’s goals and activities as well as the upcoming event.
Interview with Dr Anka Kästner and presentation of OSFA
Dr. Anka, what is the OSFA and what are its objectives?
Our organization is a kind of bilateral chamber of commerce between the Sultanate of Oman and Switzerland. We are door openers and enablers for entrepreneurs and companies who want to establish contacts in the other country, enter the market or expand their business activities. In addition, we also turn our attention to know-how transfer, education, sport and culture – in short, everything that brings people in Oman and Switzerland closer together.
Our two previous forums were great successes in terms of topics and content as well as the quality and quantity of speakers and participants. Now we are looking forward to our 3rd Forum in Lucerne, which will be followed by a separate workshop “Forum for Decarbonised Energy” due to the high interest in the energy and sustainability topic. Within a very short time, Oman has been able to establish itself as a very relevant supplier of green hydrogen. Together with the Omani Embassy in Bern, we were able to bring the Sultanate’s Minister of Energy and Minerals together with a journalist from the NZZ am Sonntag for an interview, which has set a completely new dynamic in motion, and we want to discuss very concretely bilaterally with experts from both countries how we can use this momentum for our mutual benefit.
How do you set the ideas for these forums?
Our forums are a platform to demonstrate the potential that lies in a deepened partnership between Oman and Switzerland. The two countries have maintained diplomatic relations for exactly 50 years, and a free trade agreement has been in force since 2014. Today, Switzerland is already the ninth largest investor in Oman.
In October 2022, we focused our forum on the umbrella topic of “Innovation & Sustainability” and presented best practices in cooperation in the areas of finance & investment, digitalisation, cleantech and tourism to more than 150 entrepreneurs, representatives of authorities and ministries.
The upcoming forum will pick up this thread again under the theme “Cooperation & Investment Potential”. Oman actively seeks investments and at the same time, a huge potential opens up for the Swiss supplier industry in the energy, cleantech and infrastructure sectors. Similar opportunities arise in tourism: according to its Vision 2040, Oman plans to invest around RO 20 billion (CHF 48 billion) and create more than half a million jobs. Switzerland, with its world-renowned top hotel schools and its reputation as a tourism destination, is the logical partner for Oman in this development.
What can the participants of the 3rd Oman Switzerland Business Forum expect?
From Oman, we expect three State Secretaries as keynote speakers and from the Swiss side, representatives of equal rank will speak. Companies that have already successfully implemented projects in Oman will show their experiences and success. In the afternoon, we will develop concrete action plans in sector-specific workshops on renewable energies, on infrastructure and on tourism to intensify the economic ties. We are confident that our third Forum will be as big a success as the previous two. We would like to motivate our colleagues within the CASCI to also expand their relations with the Swiss business community following our example, because the Arab world can only benefit from innovation and know-how transfer with Switzerland in a healthy investment climate.Interview in May 2023 with Hilda Al-Hinai, Secretary of the Arab-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Click here to see the latest Agenda: 2023 OSFA Business Forum – Draft Agenda 29th May 2023
Click here for more information – Switzerland Global Entreprise website –