Oman-China trade topped $19bn in 2018
April 27, 2019 | 7:37 PM
by Times News Service
Efforts are being made to increase direct flights between Muscat and various cities of China to attract more tourists from this huge market.

Muscat: The bilateral trade between Oman and China reached $19.5 billion in 2018, according to Lujaina Mohsin Darwaish, member of the State Council and chairperson of the Oman China Friendship Association.

Speaking at the second Oman-China Tourism Forum, Lujaina praised the growing tourism and trade relations between Oman and China.

Organised by the Omani-Chinese Friendship Association, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Oman Air, the forum was seen as an effort to strengthen friendship and cooperation between the people of both Oman and China.

Speaking on the occasion, Lujaina, said that the relations between Oman and China have seen remarkable growth in political, economic, cultural, tourism and other areas. She said that these relations further strengthened during the reign of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and President Xi Jinping of People’s Republic of China. It has served ultimately the people of the two countries.

Li Lingbing, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Sultanate, in her speech, said that Oman and China have a historic relationship which has grown in many areas. She said that the Chinese tourist delegation was impressed by the tourism elements which they saw in Oman. The visit would support the wheel of cooperation in tourism sector between the two countries. The tourists from China want to see the natural and historical elements of Oman. This is what they are aspired to see in the Sultanate and its diverse environment and the hospitality of its people.”

She said that 22 major Chinese tourism companies participated in the 2nd Omani-Chinese Tourism Forum. This is a positive sign for the promotion of the Sultanate in China to be carried out by these companies which have a presence in all parts of their country.

Li Lingbing said that she was confident that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Oman would increase in coming years as the Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate was taking keen interest in promotional efforts in this huge market.

Salim bin Oday Al Mamari, director general of tourism promotion in the Ministry of Tourism of Oman, said that the number of Chinese tourists who visited the Sultanate has reached 20,476 in the first quarter this year. In 2018, the number of Chinese tourists who visited the Sultanate was 44,580 which was a huge jump from 19,470 of 2017.

“This growth the result of the extraordinary efforts made by the Ministry of Tourism to promote Oman in the Chinese market from where 150 million tourists visit various countries of the world,” said Al Mamari.

Salim Al Mamari said that efforts were being made to increase direct flight between Muscat and various cities of China to attract more tourists from this huge market.

More facilities are also expected to be offered, to Chinese tourists. They already have the facility of Omani visa on arrival at the airport. Also, there is a direct flight by Oman Air to China.

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