Alawi gives away HM's Cup for best factories.
Sohar Aluminium, Europoles Middle East, Oman Flours Mills, United Dates Factory Company and Windows2000 won the His Majesty's Cup 2010. In all, 40 companies participated in the competition.
Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, minister responsible for foreign affairs, gave away the His Majesty's Cup to five companies, shields of appreciation to six firms and appreciation certificates to three manufacturing firms at a grand function at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel.
Maqbool bin Ali bin Sultan, minister of commerce and industry, and Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) chairman Khalil bin Abdullah Al Khonji attended the award ceremony function.
Initiated in 1991, the ministry has been regularly organising this competition annually to commemorate His Majesty the Sultan's declaration of the years 1991 and 1992 as Years of Industry.
Attending the award ceremony, Maqbool urged the business community to work hard to contribute more to the growth of the nation.
Khonji stressed the need for increasing Omanisation rate in the industry sector.
Talking to Times of Oman on the sidelines of the award ceremony, Said Al Saqri, managing director of Windows2000 and one of the five winners of His Majesty's Cup, said that it was a great honour to receive an award from the ministry.
Windows2000 is an Omani-based company specialised in the business of manufacturing and installation of uPVC windows and doors. "We always focus on installing advanced technology and training locals in our enterprise. This might be the reason we were selected for the HM Cup," Al Saqri said.
Selection criteria for best factories were designed very carefully by the ministry. Apart from Omanisation, marketing effort, financial performance, value addition, efficiency, quality, environment protection and safety systems were the other norms considered for selecting best factories for the award.
When asked about the current status of the industrial sector in the Sultanate, Al Saqri said: "The industrial sector in the Sultanate of Oman is doing well.
"The total volume of the business is going up and the sector is recovering stability after being hit slightly by the global recession. Like all other companies we too had to go through the tough times. We were affected a bit by the global crisis. But, now we are doing well."
Praising the efforts exerted by the ministry and the OCCI to promote industry sector in the Sultanate, he added that more should be done to promote new companies in the sector.
From 1999, the competing factories were divided into two categories. The first category is for companies with investment exceeding RO3 million, while the second category is for companies with investment less than RO3 million.
Hilal Hamed Al Brashdi, human resource manager of Europoles, said that they didn't expect winning the HM's Cup when they competed. "We are delighted to win the cup. This honour gives us more responsibility," Hilal said. Europoles is wining the HM's Cup for the first time.
As market leader in Europe, Europoles - at its plant locations in Germany, Poland, Switzerland and in Oman - produces poles, towers and columns made of high-strength spun concrete, steel, and fibreglass-reinforced plastic for an extensive variety of applications.
"It is a great honour for us. These kinds of awards and recognitions from the ministry will help us to work more," Abdullah Hilal Al Maqbali from Sohar Aluminium said. Sohar Aluminium, which won the HM's Cup, is the Sultanate's first company to enter into the aluminium industry.
Manal Abdwani, chairperson of board of directors and chairperson of executive committee of Oman Flour Mills, said that the business community in the Sultanate should benefit from the opportunities provided by the government.
"The government agencies are helping us a lot. It is our job to benefit from the opportunities to move ahead," Manal said.
Five times winner
Oman Flour Mills have won the HM Cup for five times in the past and this time they bagged the Cup for Excellence.
BC Lincoln, marketing manager of United Date Processing Company, said that the winning the HM's Cup is a big honour.
"We always offer value added products to our customer. We think so this enabled us to win the HM's Cup," Lincoln said.
Talking on the challenges they are facing, he said: " The most important issue which has to be resolved is the shortage of raw material. The government is doing a lot to help us. So we think so in future we will be able to move ahead steadily and maintain the momentum." To become eligible for the competition, a company had to achieve a minimum 35 per cent Omanisation, its exports domestic sales should be growing and it should not have incurred any losses for last two consecutive years.
The ministry endeavours through this annual competition, to achieve close coordination and joint efforts between the public and private sectors for the realisation of the targeted goals in the face of the new global economic system after the accession of the Sultanate to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as the private sector has to maximise its readiness for the apparent, inevitable challenges.
Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2009
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