Muscat: Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Senik visited the Sultanate of Oman recently and was impressed by the warm hospitality extended to him and to other members of the Ukrainian delegation during the visit.
“I am impressed with the natural beauty of Oman from the very beginning of my stay here and I look forward to exploring Muscat and other places in Oman,” he said. Senik made several observations regarding the political sphere, trade and economic field, and tourism. Here is the full interview of Ukraine’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs.
“Ukraine considers the Sultanate of Oman as one of the major players in the Middle East. We attach great importance to the development of bilateral relations, fruitful people-to-people ties, and cooperation within international organisations.
“The Ukrainian side follows the developments in the Gulf and the entire Middle East region. In this context, Oman’s contribution to strengthening peace and stability in the region, as well as its proactive role as a mediator deserve the highest praise.
“Both Ukraine and Oman share the same values. We have the same goals of promoting bilateral ties, boosting B2B, and people-to-people contacts. I remain personally committed to the further expansion of cooperation between our two states in all spheres of common interest. We should continue our efforts aimed at developing contacts between our nations, in particular through visits of high-ranking government representatives.
“During my visit, I had the honour to meet with high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Oman. I very much enjoyed the meeting with Undersecretary at the Foreign Ministry of the Sultanate of Oman for Diplomatic Affairs Sheikh Khalifa bin Ali bin Issa Al-Harthy. We discussed various aspects of our bilateral relations, outlined priorities for further development of our political agenda, trade, and investment cooperation, as well as collaboration within international organisations.
Trade and economic sphere
“Ukraine regards the Sultanate of Oman as a promising trading partner in the Gulf region. We are keen to develop economic cooperation with Oman. Despite the negative economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, our bilateral trade turnover increased by 21%. It is a positive trend but our real potential is yet to be explored. An indicator of the immense potential our countries have in trade is that over the last ten months our bilateral trade turnover has grown by 78 per cent compared to the last year.
“That is why we do our best to promote business-to-business contacts. We have good cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce of Oman. Over the last three years, we had a number of fruitful business events held in Muscat in 2018 and Kyiv in 2019 with participants from both Ukraine and Oman chambers of commerce and industry from Ash-Sharqiyah North and Al-Buraimi governorates.
“During the visit, I held a number of meetings focused on trade and investment cooperation. I had the honour to meet with Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources of the Sultanate of Oman Mr. Saud Hamoud Al Habsi, Chairman of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones of the Sultanate of Oman Ali Masoud Al Sunaidy and his Deputy Ahmed Hassan Al Dib and Acting Deputy of Oman Investment Authority Mulham Al Jail. We discussed how practically our governments can help facilitate trade and investment cooperation in the areas of agriculture, energy, tourism, innovative and information technologies and infrastructure.
"Taking into account Ukraine’s role as a global contributor to food security with huge agriculture potential, in addition to the recently implemented land market reform, I think our business communities should deepen cooperation in this area to ensure uninterrupted supplies of food and agriculture products. It is also worth mentioning that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has initiated significant changes to the Ukrainian legislation aimed at attracting foreign investors. Earlier this year, the government adopted a special incentives package for foreign investors, offering fiscal and duty incentives for those who want to invest in Ukraine to ensure a friendly and comfortable business environment.”
“We have a big number of Ukrainian companies interested in establishing links with Omani partners, and I am grateful to the Omani partners for the high level of organisation of the business forum, where the delegation of leading Ukrainian companies had an opportunity to discuss prospects for cooperation with their Omani counterparts.”
Sphere of Tourism
“Ukraine is interested in active cooperation in the sphere of tourism with the Sultanate of Oman. I believe that it is one of the prospective areas for our countries, which will contribute to further strengthening of our bilateral relations.
“As Ukraine abolished visas for citizens of Oman and other Gulf countries, this summer we witnessed a huge increase in tourists from the region, who enjoyed the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains, our historic and ancient cultural sites, and of course famous Ukrainian food. Taking this opportunity, I would like to invite everyone to visit Ukraine during the winter season to have a chance to look at our country from a completely different perspective.”
The existing friendly and warm relations between Ukraine and Oman are an excellent foundation for further promotion of trade, investment, and tourism cooperation, encouraging cultural exchanges and strengthening people-to-people contacts. It is very encouraging that both sides have a common desire to deepen our bilateral relations, to expand the range of our interaction.