Easy procedures, measures to overcome challenges appreciated
Private sector lauds efforts of Ministry of Commerce and Industry to prevent spread of Corona Virus
A number of private sector officials have lauded the efforts made by the MOCI, in cooperation with the concerned government organisations, to contain the spread of the Corona virus (Covid 19) as well as to make the procedures easy and overcome the challenges faced by the local industries during the period of pandemic. They said that the pharmaceutical and medical industry of the Sultanate of Oman were based in strong foundations. They are not just making medicines but also involved in research and innovation. These industries are making extraordinary efforts to produce various types of local made medicines and medical equipment including masks, gloves, and sanitizers.
Engineer Saeed bin Nasser Al Rashidi, Chief Executive Officer of Omani Industrialists Association, said: There is no doubt that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry played greatest role in making the overcoming of the challenges faced by the local factories easy. This is because it is the primary patron of the sector. But the Omani Industries Association has also made efforts to support the industries to sustain their work even in the current difficult situation and negotiate with he concerned authorities about safety and security conditions to have least possible effect on the operations of the plant.
Saeed Al-Rashdi said: The continuous work of factories without any interruption during the crisis was not possible without the cooperation between factories and the concerned authorities for providing highest levels of safety for employees and workers in factories. It is agreed by all that the safety of human being is above any financial considerations. But at the same time, the continuation of work in factories is also necessary to reduce the vulnerability of society in the time of crisis.
The epidemics spreads rapidly and unpredictably. Therefore, the countries have the challenge to race against time to collect medical equipment required to deal with the pandemic in the time of crisis. Therefore, the countries which have strong industries have advantage. The medical and pharmaceutical industries sector of the Sultanate is without doubt is in the preliminary stages. But during the Corona virus crisis many industries appeared to have filled the shortage in the local market with products like medical masks. They used 3D printing technology for manufacturing of several protective gears for the medical cadre. Several local factories made sanitization corridors to be put in front of establishments to reduce the thread of the pandemic posed to the visitors, said the CEO of the Omani Industrialists Association.
He said that the Omani Industrialists Association coordinated in manufacturing operations by contributing in finding swift solutions to deal with challenges in the way of Omani factories, such as for the process of packing, packaging and logistics required for a new product in record time. Soon after the end of this pandemic, the association will hold meetings to assess the lessons learnt form the crisis and look into the weak points particularly in these factories and the sector in general.
The CEO of the Omani Industrialists Society said that the pharmaceutical industries in the Sultanate were stable as there are pharmaceutical industries which not only manufacture existing medicines, but also do lots of innovations and research so that the local made medicines match the medical standards and are modernized regularly. He said that the manufacturing of medical equipment was relatively more difficult because it requires large investments in scientific research and manufacturing. It also needs advanced medical research centres, and this is what the government is planning for future.
Engineer Saeed Al-Rashdi said: For the develop of pharmaceutical and medical health supplies industries, it is necessary to stimulate investment in the Sultanate and use modern technologies to reduce the capital cost of production. This is particularly, for example, to produce specific items which are made in small quantities by using 3D printing technology. There are a lot of internatioal researches which have brought out open source results which can be used by the factories as ready-made designs or free technologies for the production of medical equipment of high quality and at a competitive price. Omani industries can take advantage of exceptions, availability of local human resources at a reasonable price compared to Western countries, by signing agreements of manufacturing in the Sultanate.
Khalid bin Rashid Al-Omairi of Al-Bahjah Group said: The Omani Company for the Production of Sanitizers and the Omani Company for Pharmaceutical Products: The crisis of Corona virus pandemic (Covid 19) has encouraged investors to invest in medical supplies, as well as introduced local companies which manufacture these products in the Sultanate. This has also brought the Omani potentials with high efficiency capable of leadership in the field of manufacturing medical materials in the limelight. He said that the Omani companies which produce medical and related materials have played a pivotal and major role during the Corona Virus pandemic crisis. They have multiplied their production and made efforts to provide the products needed by health institutions and individuals to treat patients and preventive efforts to contain the spread of the Corona virus. This is despite the challenges posed by the pandemic in the way of the transit of raw materials imported from abroad.
Al-Omairi said: The cooperation between the government and private sector helped companies to overcome the challenges they were facing. They emerged as a helping hand for the government in making it self-sufficient in some medical products, particularly in health institutions.
He said that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry made huge efforts in making the procedures of permits and visits easy. It helped in overcoming the difficulties in the way of the arrival of final product in the hospitals of the Sultanate, as there was direct communication with the stakeholders and the ministry to give the necessary permits. It also helped in supply of the raw materials of the product. He said that the company has future plan for increased production after expansion of its factories.
Anish Kumar, head of regional sales and marketing at the National Detergent Company, said: The efforts and facilities given by the MOCI for local companies working in the field of manufacturing pharmaceuticals and medical items have pushed them to pay attention to various Omani pharmaceutical industries to cope with the situation caused by Covid-19. He pointed out that the Omani products played a vital role in containing the spread of the Corona virus in the Sultanate.
The National Detergents Company has been manufacturing medical products such as disinfectant liquid, sterilizer and hand sanitizer for more than 12 years. He said that the "Bahr" brand was the main product of the National Detergent Company. The company also manufactures many different health products.