A high-profile delegation of Omani business owners has been in Bristol this week to find out how the city’s automotive aftermarket operates and to develop links with local businesses in the sector.
The 15 delegates have been taking part in a five-day tailored training scheme to improve their professional and business standards. The programme has been designed by Business West, which runs Bristol Chamber of Commerce and the Bristol Initiative, in association with Bedminster-based auto parts supplier Flying Penguin Enterprises (FPE), which has strong links in Oman.
Delegates also visited Bristol Port, SS Great Britain, and the Bloodhound SuperSonic Car project and on Tuesday evening were guests of the Lord Mayor of Bristol Faruk Choudhury at a dinner at his Mansion House official residence at Clifton Down.
The unique visit was been arranged by the Public Authority for SME Development (PASMED), part of the Omani Government, which is supporting its SMEs working in the automotive aftercare sector by commissioning this overseas study programme.
Oman-based consultancy Gulf & Global identified Bristol as the prime UK city to host the visit due to its wealth of knowledge and expertise in the auto aftercare market, coupled with the excellent quality of business support available.
Business West’s team of experienced coaches and mentors helped the Omani businesses set and reach their growth goals by working with them to create and implement a robust action plan.
It is hoped that, as a result of introductions made, on-going relationships will develop between delegates and their mentors.
Business West managing director Phil Smith said that growing international trade was a key priority and the visit would be used as a springboard to further develop relationships in Oman.
“What a coup for Bristol that the government of the Sultanate of Oman chose our city for a cultural and professional learning exchange,” he said.
“We hope this visit is just the start to us building stronger business connections with the Arab world.”
FPE managing director Nick Wilton is a non-executive member of the West of England LEP board and has considerable experience of business in the Gulf states.