Sunday, November 18, 2007

PEIE Offers British Firms a Guaranteed ‘Soft Landing’ in the Gulf

Coventry University is providing the gateway for British businesses to the Sultanate of Oman.

A VIP delegation from the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE) met recently at Coventry University’s Technocentre to sign an historic agreement for a ‘Soft Landing Zone’ in the sultanate ( pictured L to R: Tim Luft, Coventry University; Dave Pender, PEIE & David Wortley, Serious Games Institute, Coventry University) - meaning access to class A office space and free advice and support on building business in the Middle East. The Soft Landing Zone will be established on Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM), the Rusayl-based technology park managed by PEIE. In return, the Coventry University Technocentre will host PEIE tenants who are interested in developing their business operations in the UK.

“We’re delighted to sign this MoU with Coventry University. Indeed, this is the first Soft Landing Zone to be established in the Middle East and we’re proud to have achieved this. PEIE is keen to encourage international trade and by becoming a member of the Soft Landing Zone community we can open doors for our tenants right across Asia and Europe. This is a very exciting initiative,” remarked Hilal Al Ahsani, CEO, PEIE.

The UK Soft Landing Zone programme has been set up by Coventry University Enterprises in partnership with government body UK Trade and Investment in order to establish a network of British incubator offices around the globe. The offices, located on key science and technology parks in Europe, Asia and now the Gulf, will be open to UK companies who are either considering or are at the early stages of undertaking international business.

In addition to desk space in a dedicated office – complete with IT services, telephone answering and post forwarding - businesses signing up to the programme will also be able to take advantage of a number of support services. Each company will be allocated a dedicated business support officer to advise or call in expertise on all legal, financial, cultural and practical issues of doing business in a particular country. In addition, the partnership with UK Trade and Investment will give participants the opportunity to benefit from subsidies on travel and accommodation.

Tim Luft, UK Soft Landing Zone Director at Coventry University said: “Oman is a dynamic and innovative economy with a young and highly-educated workforce. It’s a country that is very much open for business. Indeed, this unique agreement will lead to exciting opportunities for firms across the UK to enter a fast-growing and prosperous business environment – and to do so alongside expert local guides.”

The other key locations for the Soft Landing Zone programme include Malaysia, India, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Poland, Romania and Sweden.
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