Oman, Saudi Arabia ties to get a major boost

Oman Sunday 05/December/2021 22:40 PM
Oman, Saudi Arabia  ties to get a major boost
The two countries share common dreams and aspirations aimed at promoting comprehensive development and economic diversification, which is reflected in Oman Vision 2040 and Saudi Vision 2030. Photo: File

Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), led by His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the KSA, are set for a new stage of economic and investment cooperation in all fields.

Last July, the two countries reaffirmed plans to engage in joint investment in advanced technologies, innovation, renewable energy projects, industry health, real estate, tourism, petrochemical converting industries, supply chains, logistics partnership, information technology and financial technology.

The achievements made over the past five months and the active exchange of visits among officials reflect the keen desire of the two countries to work together.

This includes the establishment of the Omani-Saudi Investment Forum held last August in Muscat where a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding were signed between business persons.

The Omani-Saudi Businessmen Council held a meeting here in August with a view to accelerating integration in commercial, investment and economic fields.

Eng. Ridha Jumaa Al Saleh, Chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), said that the visit of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, KSA Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence to the Sultanate of Oman on Monday assumes great significance and will reflect positively at various levels.

In a statement to ONA, Al Saleh said that the visit consolidates the ties of affinity and serves the two countries interests and status in the regional and international arenas.

Oman and Saudi Arabia constitute basic pillars in the GCC and they carry strategic weight towards advancing joint Arab action, said Al Saleh, noting that the two countries share identical views towards domestic development and that their visions are enshrined in Oman Vision 2040 and Saudi Vision 2030.

Statistics point to an upward rise in commercial exchange, which doubled from 2010 (OMR461 million) to 2020 (OMR960 million). Figures for the first quarter in 2021 show a 14.89 percent increase in commercial exchange, compared to the corresponding period last year.

Al Saleh explained that the private sector in both countries looks forward to better commercial exchange, a matter accorded the attention of the two countries’ leaderships. The overall aim is to reach a stage of economic integration, which will get a fillip through the opening of the Omani-Saudi desert highway.

Saudi Arabia occupies second place in list of importers of Omani non-oil products, fourth place in re-export and fifth place in the list of countries from which the Sultanate imports products, said Al Saleh, adding that Saudi Arabia occupies fourth place at the world level in terms of importers of Omani fisheries.

The KSA is one of Oman’s topmost strategic partners and it played a major role in the establishment of Khazaen in 2018, Ibri Energy Projects and Salalah Solar and Water Desalination Plants, he said.

In his statement, Al Saleh said that Saudi Arabia is a member of the G20, which groups the largest global economies. The KSA constitutes a pivotal state in the GCC region, being the largest exporter of oil in the world, said Al Saleh, who observed that the Saudi economy is witnessing steady growth, set to increase by 4.8 percent in 2022. Non-oil economy in Saudi Arabia is also set to grow by 2.9 percent in 2022 and that the kingdom’s GDP is forecast to grow by 3.4 percent  in 2022 and 3.5 percent in 2023, he added.