Bank Sohar, as part of its firm belief in the shared responsibility of the public and private sectors to support the Small & Medium Enterprises sector in the Sultanate, recently participated in the ’6th SME Exhibition & Conference 2014 in Oman’ represented by the Bank’s Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Department. The conference and exhibition took place at the International Exhibition Centre in Seeb from February 17th to 19th, under the patronage of Shaikh Saad bin Mohammed Al Mardhouf Al Saadi, Minister of Sports Affairs.
The conference emphasized the increasing importance of the SME sector, the challenges it has faced and its numerous successes over the past three years. The well-received conference also brought to light the importance of maintaining the sustainability of the sector, the means by which to do so and the role of modern technologies in sustaining business.
Commenting on the bank’s participation in the conference, Mr. R. Narasimhan, DGM and Head of Retail Banking at Bank Sohar said, “The critical role of SMEs as the engine of growth in the economy, providing employment to thousands of people and contributing significantly to the gross domestic product (GDP) makes the conference a timely platform for repositioning the nation’s SMEs for sustained growth. As a strong supporter of the sector and as one of the most prominent banks in the country, it was vital that we take part in such a conference.”
Since it first started operations in 2007, Bank Sohar has demonstrated its commitment to the sector by setting up a department specifically responsible for providing SMEs with financial services. This department plays an essential role in supporting newly established businesses in varying fields. In order to give an equal attention to the Micro and Small enterprises, Bank Sohar recently started another new section under the retail department tasked with providing services to existing and new micro, small and medium enterprises who require additional support in order to grow and succeed. In order to further support such companies a completely new policy was approved by Bank Sohar that not only facilitates an easy approval system with a high delegation of authority, it also offers attractive interest rates and easy terms and conditions.
“SMEs are a critical aspect of our national economy that holds the key to sustainable development, jobs creation and achieving our long term goals as a nation. However, advising the right type of finance is the equally important and the key success to start or expend any business. With the aim to have more focus on the Micro and Small enterprises, Bank Sohar specifically developed a lending policy to meet the different needs of this segment in flexible terms and competitive rates.,” added Mr. Khalifa Ahmed Al Ghammari, Assistant General Manager for Micro and Small Enterprises.
Furthermore, the bank’s SME division clients have the benefit of dealing with staff who are well experienced in this area of business while the SME division itself effectively works in tandem with other sections of the bank to cater to every need of its clients and help them graduate to higher grades in the fastest possible timeframe.