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Oman-Singapore ICT Business Forum discusses collaboration in ICT development

Oman: Saturday, November 17 - 2007 @ 14:45

The forum was convened by Eng. Ahmed bin Hassan al Dheeb, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and member of the ITA Board. Mr. Al-Dheeb welcomed Dr LEE Boon Yang, Singapore’s Minister of Information, Communication and the Arts, as Guest-of-Honour at the forum. Several dignitaries from ITA, TRA and the Research Council attended this forum.

In his welcome address, Eng. Al-Dheeb drew attention to the two countries’ common goals in developing ICT. “The significance of this forum highlights the mutual interest between our two countries in working together to develop the ICT sector. This forum is an ideal opportunity to share our experiences in ICT project implementations and enhance our cooperation in best practices and world-class innovations.”

Conducted as part of the agenda of the Singaporean delegation headed by Dr. LEE on his three day official visit to the Sultanate, the forum aimed to create a platform for cooperation within the ICT sectors of both countries.

“Singapore has 25 years of experience in developing ICT and is well aware of the benefits it can bring to a country’s social and economic development. With our background in deploying ICT for the public, private and people sectors, the Singapore experience can be used to implement relevant strategies for ICT development in Oman and across the Middle East,” commented Dr. Lee.

In his presentation Mr. Ishaq Khalfan Al Busaidi, Marketing Researcher of the Omani Center for Investment and Export Development highlighted the ease of starting business in Oman for foreign investors and the key benefits of having ICT start-ups at special zones such as the Knowledge Oasis Muscat. He gave global and regional rankings for Oman in terms of Economic Freedom, Political and Economic Risk thus highlighting Oman as an investor friendly country.

In presenting the vision of eOman, Mr, Talal Al Rahbi of ITA explained the role and mission of ITA in heralding Oman’s transformation. He gave glimpses on ITA’s eOman Awareness campaign as a tool to bridge the digital divide. Salient features and the progress of some of the key projects of ITA were also offered in his talk.

The forum covered key issues and challenges bearing on the development of an advanced ICT infrastructure in key economic sectors, such as e-Government, healthcare, logistics, trade and education. The Singapore delegation to Oman included representatives from 15 Infocomm Singapore companies specializing in ICT development services.

During panel discussions, a selection of these companies shared their experience in tapping the power of ICT. Delegates touched on the success of the e-Schoolbag pilot project initiated between Qatar and Infocomm Singapore companies to promote innovative ways of learning in Qatar’s schools. From core concerns such as Infocomm security, the availability of IT and telecom infrastructure and services, to driving sectoral transformation, the companies provided special insight into the Singapore model of infocomm development.

The forum comes as the two countries sign their first MoU agreement in the area of ICT development. The MoU will formalise an engagement between the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore and the ITA that has already seen collaboration on Oman’s e-Government plan, “Digital Oman”. Most recently, the government of Oman awarded NCS, a Singapore-based infocomm company, the project to implement its Ubar Portal (Service Delivery Portal).

Commenting on the success of the forum, Mr. Al-Dheeb said: “This has been an excellent opportunity for Oman and Singapore to share experiences in ICT and identify opportunities for collaboration. Oman is driving forward with an ambitious plan for our ICT infrastructure with great strides being made in the area of e-Government. And with Singapore’s established reputation in the field of ICT, we are pleased to have this opportunity to build synergies.”

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Saturday, November 17- 2007 @ 14:45 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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