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A Conversation With Eric Schaer, CEO Of Omni World Holdings

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Omni World Holdings is a private investment company based in Azerbaijan, which is pioneering investments in the fields of tourism, agriculture, information technology, fintech, health and other sectors both in Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Omni’s team of experts are experienced at choosing key projects that maximize potential and minimize risk.

Below is our recent interview with Eric Schaer, Chairman of Omni World Holdings.

Q: Can you introduce us briefly to Omni World Holdings and the regions in which the company operates?

Eric Schaer: Sure. Omni World Holdings is a private investment firm based in Azerbaijan. We work in the CIS and GCC states in areas of natural resources, tourism and finance, and we also invest in West Africa, a region which we know has so much opportunity for investors. To simplify what we do, Omni manages funds for private investors who trust us to grow and protect their capital.

Q: Why did you choose Azerbaijan as Omni World Holdings’ home base, and why does the region represent strong investment potential for the world?

Eric Schaer: It just made so much sense economically. Why? Well, the area is known for its abundance of natural resources. Interestingly, Azerbaijan contains nine of the 11 existing climate zones in the world, so it also provides many investment opportunities in the tourism sector. Its European hospitality and rich cuisine make Azerbaijan an ideal place for tourism and co-investment from the Gulf.

Q: The global gathering of nations known as World Expos first began in London in 1851, and since then have occurred in cities all over the globe. Expo 2021 (postponed by one year because of the global pandemic) will be held in Dubai and its theme is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and its three subthemes are Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. What do you hope the event will accomplish for the regions in which you operate?

Eric Schaer: Yeah, we were really looking forward to welcoming the Expo in Dubai this fall, but unfortunately COVID happened, so now all we can do is look forward to 2021. Dubai has such a strong financial hub and world-class infrastructure, and I know the Expo’s presence here will be a positive opportunity for everyone involved. For Omni, we know that the Expo will bring additional world recognition to Dubai and expand the economic catalyst that has increased our potential and growth.

Q: With your experience in fintech and other business innovations in less developed regions, how do you think foreign investment in these projects contributes to a better life for everyone?

Eric Schaer: Of course, each market opportunity is faced with its own set of challenges but foreign investment has many advantages. For one, it can enable the growth of businesses and jobs that wouldn’t happen from domestic investment alone. Foreign investment also promotes competition, as well as capital, and the technological and managerial skills that are necessary and that have a positive impact on the home country’s economic development.

Q: The UAE and Azerbaijan established the intergovernmental Joint Committee in 2008 and since that time, the economic ties have been growing. The UAE Embassy opened in Baku in 2011 and Azerbaijan’s Trade House was opened in Dubai in 2019. Has this growth in cooperation created opportunities for you that didn’t exist before?

Eric Schaer: Absolutely it has. Anyone in business knows the importance of relationship building. Through the joint effort between the UAE and Azerbaijan, there have been many achievements and successes. Mutual visits and meetings have enabled ties in nine important sectors of economy such as agriculture, renewable energy, tourism, environment, water, communications, modern technology and air transport.

Through this partnership, we gain direct knowledge of the current local market trends, expose new opportunities, and avoid pitfalls.

Q: How will fintech and other innovative industries muscle their way into an economy where oil and gas account for 41 percent of the Azerbaijani GDP and 90 percent of its exports?

Eric Schaer: Well, I think you have to look at what has happened over the last year. Azerbaijan has been a hot spot for fintech-related announcements. Blockchain-related technology is playing a large role in banking and e-government systems here. Most recently, plans to implement blockchain technology to build an online-accessible cargo transportation database were announced. Also, did you know Azerbaijan offers electronic residency? This can be done entirely remotely without having to enter the country.

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