The International Semiconductors Executive Summit (ISES) took place from February 22-23, 2023 at Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa in Oman. The event was organized with the support of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MTCIT) and featured presentations from Oman Investment Authority (OIA), the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ), and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Investment Promotion.
The main theme of the two-day event was ‘Establishing a semiconductor ecosystem in Oman and the GCC to address future digitalization growth’, highlighting the ambition to ignite the growth of the semiconductor industry in Oman. The event brought together industry leaders and stakeholders from around the world to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the sector.
In a press statement, the London-based organizers of the ISES global series described Oman as the perfect hub for the creation of semiconductor design and infrastructure in the GCC. They noted that Oman is home to a young, prosperous, and highly educated population and will become a primary destination for leading tech companies establishing global development centers and for local champions expanding internationally.
The Muscat Summit presented a rare window of opportunity for Oman and the wider GCC region to make a concerted break into the lucrative global semiconductor industry. This is particularly relevant as the world grapples with the lingering effects of a chips shortage that has unleashed chaos for chip-dependent sectors, notably the automotive industry.
Some countries have taken steps to secure their own production of semiconductors for their markets, including the United States, which enacted the CHIPS Act last August to safeguard the interests of its national industries and maintain its technological prowess.
In recent years, Oman has made some fledgling efforts in establishing the rudiments of a future domestic semiconductor industry. Last June, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Labor signed a cooperation agreement with the Semiconductor Development and Investment Company (SDIC) to support the establishment of Oman’s first project centring on the design and manufacture of semiconductors. SDIC is an affiliate of GS Micro Electronics (GSME), a global leader in semiconductor and microelectronics innovation, providing advanced technology solutions and products to customers worldwide. The company’s Co-Founder and CEO, Farhat Jahangir, addressed the summit.
According to GSME, “Oman is taking a lead in becoming a hub in semiconductor IC design and manufacturing in the GCC.” The company presented at the summit to enhance, strengthen, and expand the global semiconductor ecosystem in the region. GSME-Oman is the first semiconductor design and manufacturing training company in GCC.