OTN creates a massive marketplace

Following the enrolment of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and its 3500 suppliers to Oman TradaNet’s iX2 trading platform, OTN believes that it is currently the largest e-commerce exchange in the Middle East.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  January 22, 2003

Following the enrolment of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and its 3500 suppliers to Oman TradaNet’s iX2 trading platform, OTN believes that it is currently the largest e-commerce exchange in the Middle East. The company’s CEO, Alan Livingston, says OTN has three times the membership of its nearest rival and is already turning a profit.

“iX2 has been operational now for about six months and, as expected, the transactions are growing at a phenomenal rate. For example, last month over 600 organisations used our facility, and we anticipate that over 4000 organisations will be using the system by April,” he says.

“From a business proposition viewpoint we believe it is difficult to see where it [OTN] can fail. Are we a dot-bomb? No. In our first full year of operations OTN has just reported an operating profit, [so] we are definitely here to stay,” he adds.

Livingston suggests that OTN’s numbers are even more impressive when one considers that the company’s base is Oman. He argues that because Oman’s business community is approximately 20% of that of the UAE, a UAE exchange would need approximately 20,000 members to be proportionally on a par with OTN.

“To gain the same level of penetration in the UAE an exchange would have to achieve a membership of 20,000. That is why Oman, in our view, now leads the region, and why within a year we [OTN] should have exchanges in most countries,” explains Livingston.

The countries currently topping OTN’s expansion list include those within the Gulf region. “We are also in discussions with a number of parties in the region that are interested in taking iX2 into their country. These companies are not only in the Middle East, but also in the UK, Australia, South East Asia and two other European countries. However, the best one though is an opportunity we are working on in the USA,” adds Livingston.

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