MUSCAT: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (PASMED) to further assist Omani entrepreneurs.

The agreement is aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two sides on training, business advice and knowledge exchange to help SMEs operate more successfully.

The MoU was signed by Abdul Amir al Ajmi, PDO’s external affairs director and Khalifa bin Said al Abri, acting CEO of PASMED, at the PDO headquarters in Muscat.

Ajmi said, “Successful SMEs are vital to the nation’s prosperity and we have a huge business interest in helping entrepreneurs, both in and out of our sector, so they can develop, innovate and diversify.

“PDO is a committed supporter of Omani businesses and we have been actively helping and encouraging them through our in-country value (ICV) and national objectives strategies. These are dedicated to ensuring that more of the wealth of the oil and gas industry is retained in Oman, that more Omani companies reach the level where they can supply us with goods and services and that more jobs and training opportunities are developed in the sultanate as a result.”

As per terms of the agreement, PDO business specialists will advise entrepreneurs and SME owners who are members of PASMED and who might be in need of guidance on management and strategic planning, so they are better trained to run their businesses successfully.

Commenting on the MoU, Abri said, “PDO has played a leading role in embedding ICV in Oman and ensuring that Omani SMEs develop the capability and capacity to thrive commercially.

“This MoU means the company will now offer its expertise, advice and support to help our members flourish, in whichever sector they operate, so they can contribute fully to generating more prosperity for the sultanate.

“PASMED is grateful to PDO for being so supportive and sharing its knowledge, energy and resources so our members can compete more effectively in both domestic and foreign markets.” Last year, PDO awarded contracts worth more than US$3.1bn to locally registered firms, and broadened its support of domestic businesses through a variety of measures, including technical assistance, and establishment of Omani repair facilities and in-country engineering services.