Muscat: The Omani-Egyptian relations have derived their strength from the deep-rooted history documented by evidence before approximately 3500 BC, and they are witnessing a constant development.
Through the talks to be conducted by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and President Abdel Fattah el Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt on June 27, the Sultanate of Oman and the Arab Republic of Egypt strive to strengthen these exemplary relations and push them to wider horizons. The talks will be held within the framework of the Egyptian President’s official visit to the Sultanate of Oman.
On the political level between the two countries, the Sultanate of Oman has consistently recorded positive positions on a number of issues backing Egypt, including the Renaissance Dam negotiations, in which Oman reaffirmed the need to reach an agreement that meets the interests of all parties’ states. The consensus in political visions between the two countries on many regional and international issues is another example of harmony, consultation, understanding, coordination and joint cooperation.
The first visit of President Abdel Fattah el Sisi to the Sultanate of Oman in February 2018 contributed in strengthening the advanced relations between the two countries and the fruitful cooperation between them.
The efforts made by the Omani-Egyptian Joint Committee during the last period led to signing a number of memoranda of understanding and bilateral cooperation programmes in all economic, commercial and investment fields that would open up new qualitative prospects for cooperation between the two countries.
The Omani and Egyptian sides are making persistent efforts to promote economic and investment relations in a manner that serves common interests and augments the volume of trade exchange between them through the role of the Omani-Egyptian Chambers of Commerce and the Omani-Egyptian Businessmen Council.
These efforts exerted by the two countries explore opportunities for cooperation available in the areas that enjoy a comparative advantage, such as tourism, construction, mining and other lucrative sectors.
Statistics indicate that the volume of trade exchange between the Sultanate of Oman and the Arab Republic of Egypt has witnessed a remarkable increase, as it registered at the end of 2021 about OMR205.8 million, equivalent to US $535.4 million, compared to OMR97.7 million (US $254.3 million).
The number of Egyptian companies investing in the Sultanate of Oman in 2020 reached about 744 companies, with a total invested capital hitting more than USD 1.856 billion.
Oil and gas products, iron ores, polypropylene and polyethylene products, fisheries represented the commodities exported from the Sultanate of Oman to the Arab Republic of Egypt, while the imported commodities from Egypt are vegetables, fruits, foodstuffs and medical products.
Eng. Redha Juma Al Saleh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) called on the private sector in the two countries to establish more partnerships and cooperation particularly in the non-oil sectors being the key targets within the programmes of economic diversification in Oman Vision 2040 and Egypt Vision 2030.
He told Oman News Agency (ONA) that the Omani-Egyptian Business Council joined hands to develop many visions for cooperation and integration between the two countries. Such visions came up with a number of initiatives, namely establishing a joint fund between the two sides to develop investment exchange and advance trade exchange, as well as a proposal to establish a joint bank and a specialised medical city in Egypt.
On his part, Dr. Ahmed Reza, a member of the Omani-Egyptian Business Council, told ONA that the council functions as a link between the two countries in the economic field. It also seeks to reach the envisaged economic ambition by maintaining cooperation with various government and private institutions and embassies of the two countries.
He expected that the visit of the Egyptian President to the Sultanate of Oman would focus on the economic aspect of the two countries in line with the ambitious visions and plans they seek to achieve. He affirmed that Oman enjoys great investment advantages, particularly in the tourism, industrial, fisheries, mining sectors.
Air traffic between the Sultanate of Oman and Egypt is witnessing a continuous growth, whether in the number of flights or new airlines that have operated flights between various airports of the two countries during the last period due to the increasing demand for travel between the two countries for tourism and work purposes.
The average number of current flights between the two countries is about 17 weekly flights between Muscat and Cairo operated by Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, and via the codeshare agreement with Egypt Airlines, as well as 3 weekly flights operated by “Air Arabia Egypt” while SalamAir operates two weekly flights between Muscat and Alexandria.
In the logistics sector, Omani ports are connected by direct shipping lines with Egyptian ports at a rate of 4 weekly trips between Salalah Port and Port Said and Damietta Port. These connection lines contribute to promoting direct export and import of goods and merchandise between the two countries.
They also provide the best options for traders and importers from the country of origin and benefiting from direct international shipping lines to both countries.