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Rising investments from Singapore companies

SINGAPORE companies have been actively involved in investing in Oman and the last two years have seen significant cooperation in various projects.

These include a technical partnership between Awasr, Oman's only dedicated Internet service provider, and Singapore's ViewQwest to launch its broadband services in the sultanate. Commercial operations began last year.

"ViewQwest is pleased to have been chosen by Awasr as its technical partner in this important venture. We are proud of our role in Singapore's successful transition to a smart nation and look forward to creating a similar experience in Oman," said ViewQwest CEO Vignesa Moorthy.

ViewQwest's arrangement will provide knowledge transfer to Awasr and share best practices and technical knowledge from rolling out high-speed fibre broadband services under Singapore's Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN).

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This is part of Oman's National Broadband Strategy which aims to facilitate the building of new fibre-optic networks and make broadband more affordable. A key element of this strategy is the government-owned Oman Broadband Company, which has announced plans to bring fibre optic connections to 90 per cent of Oman's capital city of Muscat, and 35 per cent in other governorates.

Yet another Singapore company, CrimsonLogic is a strategic technology partner to Oman, assisting the Sultanate on its digital government transformation towards fulfilling the future Vision 2020.

In the area of trade, CrimsonLogic has helped streamline the Sultanate's trade processes and enhanced operations with a state-of-the-art Single Electronic Window and Customs Management System for the Royal Oman Police (ROP).

CrimsonLogic has also been appointed by Oman's Public Authority for Manpower Register (PAMR) and Information Technology Authority (ITA) to design and implement the National Integrated Manpower Register (NIMR) project - a portal that links relevant job opportunities in the private and public sectors to citizens.

In the area of aviation services, Oman Air and SATS last year formed a joint venture for cargo handling at Muscat International Airport.

SATS unit SATS Investments has taken a 33 per cent stake in the RO500,000 (S$1.76 million) joint venture called Oman SATS Cargo with Oman Air wholly-owned subsidiary Oman Air Cargo holding the remainder.

It will become the single source provider of cargo handling services first at the existing cargo facility and then at the new state-of-the-art cargo terminal in Muscat International Airport.

SATS is providing management and technical know-how to the joint venture including staff training as well as reviewing of existing cargo processes and operations work flow at the new cargo terminal in Muscat.

SATS president and CEO Alex Hungate said: "This strategic partnership with Oman Air will enhance connectivity for our cargo customers across Asia and strengthen Oman's position as a transit hub. We also see opportunities to develop cold-chain handling capabilities and promote carriage of premium and temperature-controlled airfreight for Oman Air and other airlines."

Singapore's Hyflux is also building the US$250 million Qurayyat IWP in Oman.

The desalination plant located in Qurayyat in the Muscat governorate is the group's largest desalination project in Oman.

The project will supply desalinated water to Oman Power and Water Procurement Company for 20 years, from 2017 to 2037, adding another 200,000 cubic metres per day of drinking water to the Sultanate's water supply.