Muscat: Oman and Qatar held talks to expand co-operation in various fields at the Council of Ministers in Muscat on Thursday.
The Omani side was chaired by His Highness Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers while the Qatari side was led by Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister, Minister of Interior in Qatar who conveyed greetings of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar along with his best wishes of permanent success to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and the Omani people further progress and prosperity.
Good fraternal spirit and firm desire in supporting and enhancing avenues of existing cooperation between the two countries in several fields prevailed over the talks.
Sayyid Fahd began the meeting by welcoming Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani and his accompanying delegation. He hailed the growing strong bilateral relations and continuous keenness accorded by the wise leadership in the two countries to develop such relations at best levels.
The Omani-Qatari talks touched on several fields that serve the joint interests of both countries, including economy, trade and joint investments. The talks also reviewed situations in the regional and international arenas, as well as the efforts exerted to encourage constructive dialogue in a bid to end disputes via peaceful methods to support security and stability.
Sayyid Fahd asked the guest to convey greetings of His Majesty the Sultan along with his best wishes to the Emir of Qatar and the Qatari people further growth and welfare.
Oman and Qatar signed a number of agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel on Thursday.
Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, signed a MoU in the field of culture with Ahmed Jassim Al Thani, Minister of Economy and Trade of Qatar.
The MoU is related to exchanges of information, publications, booklets, cultural and scientific bulletins, references and the organisation of bilateral symposia and seminars for professionals in the field of cultural heritage preservation.
The MoU also aims at exchanging expertise in indexing, manuscript preservation, and maintenance and restoration of materials. Further, an agreement was signed to begin cooperation in the cinema field, and to exchange expertise and invitations and take part at events and activities in cinema. This also includes exchanges of visits among writers, men of letters, poets, artists, as well as theatre and music delegations.
Also, Mohammed bin Salim Al Toobi, Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs, signed a MoU in the field of environment and its preservation with Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Romaihi, Minister of Municipality and Environment in Qatar. The MoU is related to exchanging national expertise and information in environmental protection, climate affairs and environmental preservation.
The MoU calls for exchanges of expertise in monitoring climate changes, organising a forum for joint environmental cooperation, developing an integrated work programme for two years to identify and begin proposed activities and fields for cooperation, enhancing environmental awareness, evaluating the environmental effects for industrial and development projects, exchanging expertise in the field of tourism and its integration with biodiversity.
Further, Yahya bin Said Al Jabri, Chairman of Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD), signed an agreement with Khalid Al Hail, Chairman of Karwa Automobiles, by which SEZAD will provide the company with the right to set up an auto assembly factory with some OMR160 million in investments.
Al Jabri, SEZAD Chairman, confirmed that the agreement enhances cooperation and the economic partnership between the Sultanate and Qatar.
“We are happy to sign the land agreement with Karwa Company, whose investment will be an important addition to the existing investments in the Zone”, Al Jabri said in a press statement.
Karwa Company and Oman Investment Fund will provide capital for the project, including 30 per cent for the Sultanate and 70 per cent for Qatar.
Under the agreement, SEZAD allocated land of about one million square metres in the medium industries area for the factory, which will have an annual capacity of some 2,000 units of various types of cars, large and small buses, school buses, trucks and other vehicles.
The project includes the construction of a number of administrative support services, staff housing, and a yard to conduct operational tests for cars, in addition to other benefits associated with the project.
The agreement is for 25 years, subject to renewal. It is expected that 400 to 500 jobs are to be created. Meanwhile, the Public Authority for Mining (PAM) and Qatar Primary Materials Company (QPMC) also signed a memorandum of understanding on the two queries in Khatmat Milaha in the Wilayat of Shinas to provide support to assist the company in receiving approvals and permits to carry out its excavations in the quarries. -ONA
Eng. Hilal bin Mohammed Al Busaidi, CEO of PAM, and Eng. Essa Al Hammadi, CEO of QPMC, signed the memorandum.
A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between the Port of Sohar and QPMC to customize the quay and storage areas for the company in the Port of Sohar.
Sultan bin Salim Al Habsi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Planning, and Essa Al Hammadi signed the memorandum.
Additionally, an agreement was signed between the Ministry of Transport and Communications and QPMC to build a pier in the Wilayat of Shinas to allow for the export of rocks to Qatar.
Said bin Hamdoon Al Harthy, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications for Ports and Maritime Affairs, and Essa Al Hammadi signed the agreement.
Also, an agreement was signed to turn over the land for the Ras Al Had project between the Ministry of Tourism and Qatari Diar, which is to begin in January 2017.
Sheikh Hilal bin Ghalib Al Hinai, Green Tourism Advisor and Acting Director General of Planning, Follow up and Information in the ministry of Tourism, and Khalid Al Sayyid, CEO of Qatari Diar, signed the agreement.
Further, contracts were signed to grant al Meera Supermarkets, an Omani-Qatari company operating in marketing and services, supermarkets in five governorates of the Sultanate.
Khamis bin Ali Al Kalbani, Director General of Land, and Dr. Saif bin Said Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Al Meera Supermarkets Board, signed the contracts.
The session of talks was attended from the Omani side by the Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Minister Responsible for Financial Affairs, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs, Minister of Tourism, Assistant Secretary General for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Planning (Head of the Mission of Honour accompanying the Prime Minister, Minister of Interior of the State of Qatar), Chairman of the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development and Chairman of the Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm.