Muscat: Trade between Oman and Canada crossed the OMR45 million mark in 2020, remaining healthy despite the pandemic and is expected to increase in future, as both countries look to build stronger ties over areas of common interest.
The bilateral trade rose from about CA$127 million (OMR40 million) in 2017 to CA$145.5 million (OMR46.4 million) in 2020. Oman’s primary exports to Canada are base metal products, iron and steel, aluminium, perfumes, essential oils, plastics, rubber, chemicals, minerals, and glass and stone products. Canadian investment in Oman is also about CA$95 million (OMR30.1 million).
Omani imports from Canada include machinery, electronic goods, specialised instruments, vegetables and their products, cereals, pharmaceutical products, chemicals, and vehicles and the equipment associated with them.
“Canada looks forward to further strengthening our economic ties, promoting trade and investment opportunities as well as exploring avenues for broadening and deepening our relations with Oman,” said Jason Kung, spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian government’s international relations department. “Now more than ever, Oman’s independent, moderate, and facilitating role in the region centring on dialogue and diplomacy is critical.”
Canada’s diplomatic representation in Oman is in the form of the Honorary Consulate in Muscat, and its embassy in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Oman’s dealings with Canada are conducted through its embassy in Washington DC.
“Canada values its relationship with Oman, and is always looking for ways to expand upon existing relations with reliable regional partners with common goals and shared interests on a variety of issues,” explained Kung.
Oman’s biggest exports to Canada last year were plastics and rubber products (CA$17.8mn,
OMR5.7mn) and base metal products (CA$27mn, OMR8.6mn), while the largest portion of imports were in the form of specialised instruments (CA$18mn, OMR5.74mn), machinery, mechanical, and electronic goods (CA$32.4mn, OMR10.3mn), and vegetable products (CA$14.5mn, OMR4.6mn). The two nations also held their first annual Oman-Canada bilateral consultations last April, and are expected to take place every year to strengthen ties across areas of common interest.
“We plan to bolster our relations by holding annual consultations going forward,” said Kung. “These discussions were robust and allowed for a fruitful bilateral exchange on issues of mutual importance, including bilateral and multilateral engagement, economic and commercial cooperation as well as regional developments.”
Over the last five years, trade between Canada and Oman has remained high. The total value of trade stood at CA$176.1mn (OMR56.1mn) in 2016, before dipping to CA$126.7mn (OMR40.4mn) in 2017. It reached its highest during this period in 2018, at CA$208.4mn (OMR66.4mn), before dropping once again to CA$151.9mn (OMR48.4mn) in 2019.