A UK delegation to the Sultanate of Oman, organised by Intec Export Intelligence and British Water, has been hailed a success by both bodies. Some 22 UK companies featured in the UK Pavilion at the Oman Energy & Water Exhibition & Conference, the largest number of companies ever taken on a single trip.
Rapid population growth and development are driving demand for water and wastewater treatment and an annual investment of £2 billion a year is needed to keep pace. The government is also in the process of unifying and restructuring the sector with three new authorities planned in North, South and Central Oman, which will be subject to formal external regulation.
Lila Thompson, international director of British Water said “the changes currently underway in Oman present significant opportunities for UK consultants and technology companies”.
“It is a great time for UK companies to make links with Oman as there is an active desire to explore international best practice. A variety of infrastructure projects are being implemented and equipment for wastewater treatment and reuse, desalination, irrigation, water quality and metering is in demand.”
Thompson said feedback from the 22 companies taking part in the British Water pavilion was excellent, with many saying that the event had proved much more productive than they had anticipated.
Guy Rogers of Intec Export Intelligence said, “Pro-British, secure, stable and wealthy, Oman provides many high-value export opportunities for UK companies, particularly in the water sector. UK participants at this year’s event reported record interest in their products and services and their estimates for potential contracts won run into many millions.
“We are very proud of this continued success and grateful to the British Embassy and British Water for their support.”
Mike Jeffries, director of water treatment chemicals supplier Avista said, “We have a high number of good quality leads to follow up, which exceeded our expectations.” Tony O’Donnell, chairman and chief executive of The Smart Actuator Company said, “We came here to find a distributor. By the third day we had 30 possibilities, but Lila’s introduction on the third afternoon was the one we came for.”
Twelve companies secured grants to support attendance from the UK Department for International Trade (DTI), which is keen to build closer links with the water industry in Oman. According to the DTI, Oman needs more than £2 billion investment in infrastructure over the next ten years and is keen to attract private investment alongside government funds.
The event was held in the capital, Muscat, from 1-3 May 2017.