OPAZ introduces cooperation programme to promote the role of entrepreneurship in economic and free zones

23 March 2021

The Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) and the Authority of Small and Medium Enterprises Development (SMEDA) signed today (Thursday, March 23, 2021) a technical cooperation programme aimed to promote the role of entrepreneurship in the special economic zones and free zones. The programme serves as a platform introducing small and medium enterprises to the business opportunities available in these zones.

The programme was signed by HE Eng. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Dheeb, Deputy Chairman of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones and HE Halima bint Rashid Al Zaria, Chairperson of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA).

This outstanding programme aims to benefit from the expertise of the Authority of Small and Medium Enterprises Development as a strategic partner in developing entrepreneurship in the different special economic zones and free zones. Further, it intends to utilise the powers of OPAZ to overcome the challenges that may come across SMEs in all these zones.

On the other hand, the programme plans to establish a platform specialised in creating innovative tasks from large projects. It also recommends opening a service outlet for the Authority of Small and Medium Enterprises Development in OPAZ Headquarter. This outlet will mainly serve entrepreneurs to make the most of all the various opportunities offered by the special economic zones and free zones.

Likewise, this cooperation programme endorses conducting a joint study between the two government bodies on the Sultanate’s markets to find out the supply, demand and gaps. Both parties will jointly observe the imported products and materials from overseas, each according to its competences.

Accordingly, the Authorities will work on creating investment opportunities that serve SMEs through the establishment of factories in the special economic and free zones in order to produce these imported products and materials. In addition, they will contribute in providing business opportunities for projects from construction stage to running operations and working strategically throughout the projects’ phases.   

Moreover, the cooperation programme also includes providing consultation, supervision and training services to SMEs. As well, it allows benefiting from events and exhibitions organised for SMEs in the different governorates around the Sultanate, and establishing incubators, accelerators and business centres too.