Oman strengthens ties with Singapore

Business Saturday 06/May/2023 16:54 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman strengthens ties with Singapore

Muscat: The Minister of Commerce, Industry & Investment Promotion (MoCIIP) Qais bin Mohammed Al Yousef led a recent high-level trade and investment delegation to Singapore.

As well as participated in extremely productive discussions with several government and commercial organisations including the Ministry of Trade & Industry, Singapore Economic Development Board and Enterprise Singapore, the delegation that included representatives from the Ministry of Energy & Minerals; Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries; Oman Investment Authority; the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones & Free Zones; Asyad; OQ; and Fisheries Development Oman engaged with Singaporean investors looking to enter as well as expand their presence in the Middle East.

According to Faisal Al Nabhani, MoCIIP’s Director of International Cooperation & Trade Relations, the significant level of attention generated by the visit came as no surprise given the international accolades Oman’s economy has recently received: “At the start of the year FDI Intelligence ranked Oman fourth globally in its FDI Standouts Watchlist 2023 while just last month Oman was projected to be the fastest growing economy in the GCC in 2023 by the World Bank and the IMF predicted Oman will have the highest economic growth rate in the Arab World in 2024.”

“This visit, when the world’s attention is very much focused on us and our economy, presented an outstanding opportunity to build on the strong trade and investment relations we enjoy with Singapore. We were able to showcase the impacts and ambitions of Oman Vision 2040, the enlightened economic strategy that is driving our development and progress. I should say that it is these impacts - the differences Oman Vision 2040 has already made - that have earned us this international recognition,” remarked Al Nabhani.

Amongst the most notable differences made possible by Oman Vision 2040, in the MoCIIP Director’s opinion, are the pro-enterprise enhancements to Oman’s commercial regulatory and legislative framework and the range of business-friendly initiatives introduced.

“The new Invest Oman Lounge, designed to support investors as they set up operations, is a good example of this and, of course, there is the hugely successful Invest Easy, the Government’s portal for registering new businesses which since the launch of the new licensing service in April 2021 has issued more than 351,000 licenses – over 69,000 of them to international investors.”

Oman and Singapore already enjoy strong trade relations with Oman’s non-oil exports to Singapore increasing from $152 million in 2021 to $214 million in 2022. A significant rise of 40 per cent.

“As the figures show, Singapore is a key market for Omani goods, particularly chemicals, iron, steel, machinery, plastics and cosmetics. Singaporean consumers are known for their high standards of quality, and Omani companies are well-positioned to meet these standards. There is considerable growth potential. While Singapore is a relatively small island nation of almost 6 million, it is an ideal launching pad for Omani companies to enter the lucrative trading bloc of Southeast Asia – Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia - home to over 685 million people," Al Nabhani added,

The delegation's visit to Singapore is part of a broader effort to enhance economic ties between Oman and countries around the world as the Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Investment Promotion works to attract foreign investment and promote non-oil exports, supporting economic diversification and creating new growth opportunities.