MUSCAT: The Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (PASMED) and BankDhofar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support SMEs.

H E Ahmed bin Nasser bin Hamad al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism, graced the occasion as the chief guest for the opening function of ‘Ozooma Omaniya 2’, an event organised by PASMED. During the signing ceremony organised at Muscat City Centre recently, Khalifa bin Said al Abri, acting chief executive officer represented PASMED and Hussain Ali Ibrahim al Lawati, head of corporate marketing and business development – wholesale banking represented by BankDhofar.

“As a bank we encourage owners of small and medium enterprises through self-employment and with partnership of the PASMED. The Omani economy in line with the wishes of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said is being diversified and small business owners are one of the most important pillars of doing so. This MoU was to further promote and assist Omani entrepreneurs, over and above the ongoing support being provided in terms of advisory and banking support,” said Kamal al Marazza, deputy general manager of wholesale banking for BankDhofar.

This agreement is aimed at strengthening co-operation and collaboration between BankDhofar and SMEs as the bank hopes to improve the working environment and obstacles faced by the SME sector in addition to other relevant issues. “We have been extending our support to promote business of individual firms and SME’s by spreading the culture of sound leadership amongst these budding pioneers, and overall encouragement to take initiatives that add value to their business and manage risks accordingly,” added Kamal.

With a keen interest to help entrepreneurs, the bank aids businesses in this sector to develop, diversify, innovate and promote Omani products and owners. SMEs in the sultanate, like in many developed countries, have the potential to become engines of economic growth and the backbone of the job market. “The Omani SME sector is still at a nascent stage, but we believe if we focus and support the SME sector it is guaranteed to translate into vibrant economic growth,” concluded Kamal.

Reinforcing its position as one of Oman’s most dynamic financial services provider, BankDhofar was recently awarded the ‘Best Bank in the Sultanate 2014’ award, and was chosen as the ‘Best Managed Advisory Service 2014’ from the Banker Middle East, organised by CPI Financial, Dubai, UAE.