Oman & Jordan: Towards new promising horizons

Oman Monday 20/May/2024 18:40 PM
Oman & Jordan: Towards new promising horizons

Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan seek to maximise the benefits of their distinguished relations based on common historical and cultural strategic aspects.

Certainly, the upcoming state visit of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and his meeting with King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein of Jordan will be an important step to augment the level of cooperation between the two countries in various spheres, especially in the economic, tourism, trade and investment areas.

The two leaders’ talks in Amman are also expected to address regional and international issues of common interest based on their political consensus, most notably the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip, Palestine, and the Palestinians in general, as the two countries agree in their political positions on the issues.

On this context, Fahd bin Abdulrahman Al Ojaili, Ambassador of Oman to Jordan affirmed that His Majesty’s visit to Jordan has a great importance, as it is the first official visit of His Majesty to Jordan since assuming the reins of powers in the country.

He told Oman News Agency (ONA) that the visit will address a set of vital files, in addition to discussing the distinguished fraternal relations between the two countries, that extend over 53 years. He described the relations between Oman and Jordan as a vivid example of fraternity, cooperation and understanding.

He added that the visit has great objectives, in light of regional and international developments, as it increases the permanent joint coordination between the two countries on issues of common concern, especially the Palestinian cause. He affirmed that the relations between Oman and Jordan have been characterised by consensus on crucial stances of concern to the Arab nation and cooperation in all that would achieve security and stability for the two countries, and the region in general.

The two countries agree that peace is the only way to resolve differences in the region, and that working to stimulate this to maintain stability is a strategic goal and an opportunity for future generations in accordance with international resolutions, affirmed the Ambassador.

He noted that Oman and Jordan also believe that peace and development will lead to achieving security and stability in the entire region.

The ambassador also underlined the importance of His Majesty’s visit in elevating the commercial, investment and industrial exchange and cooperation in all fields, in addition to boosting cooperation between the private sectors in the two countries.

He explained that the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in Jordan works to highlight the available investment opportunities and promising sectors in Oman to all chambers of commerce in Jordan and to interested businessmen. It provides a guide that reviews the performance of the Omani economy as a type of investment incentives in Oman and works to coordinate the visit of Jordanian businessmen and those who wish to explore the investment opportunities, he added.

The Ambassador added that the Embassy coordinates business meetings and creates communication channels between government officials and potential investors.

Amjad Al Quhaiwi, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the Sultanate of Oman pointed out that the visit of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik comes in response to an invitation by King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein of Jordan. He noted that the visit reflects the distinguished and historical relations between the two countries.

He stated to Oman News Agency (ONA) that the visit is an embodiment of the continuity of cooperation and close diplomatic relations between the two countries, and represents an opportunity to explore new areas.

He added that this visit has many dimensions and gains importance, as it is an opportunity for the two countries to participate in fundamental discussions on a variety of regional and international issues. It comes at a very crucial time and embodies the common vision on many regional issues, the Ambassador noted.

He pointed out that the visit coincides with the Kingdom of Jordan’s celebration of the silver jubilee of King Abdullah II assuming the reins of power.

He stressed that the two countries have historically identical views on various Arab, regional and international issues, with continuous consultation and coordination between them that are clearly evident in international events such as the United Nations and the Security Council.

The Jordanian ambassador pointed out that this appears clearly when examining the developments of the Palestinian issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict, especially the efforts aimed at stopping the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, and delivering humanitarian aid immediately and adequately to all parts of the Strip, as well as the need for continued coordination and consultation on ways to stop the catastrophic conditions in Gaza, and in efforts to reaching a permanent and immediate ceasefire.

He stated that there is continuous communication through a series of meetings aimed at strengthening trade and economic relations between the two countries and creating investment opportunities and partnerships, especially since these relations are now witnessing widespread activity and greater momentum after the meeting of the two leaders in 2022, after which a Jordanian-Omani working group was formed to explore investment opportunities and economic cooperation between the two countries.

He added that there is continuous communication between the chambers of commerce and industry, and investment departments in the two countries to determine the extent of progress in economic and trade cooperation between the two sides and to arrange meetings between businessmen in the two countries.

He explained that there are opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of information technology, food, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, mining and communications industries, stressing the joint keenness to promote the economic cooperation and impeding any obstacles facing businessmen and the private sector.

On the economic side, statistics issued by the National Centre for Statistics and Information indicate that the volume of trade exchange between Oman and Jordan witnessed remarkable growth during 2023, registering a 25 percent increase to reach about OMR74, 511,421, compared to 2022, which amounted to OMR59,752,392.

Statistics show that Omani exports to Jordan during 2023 increased by 28.2 percent, to exceed OMR43,850,000, compared to more than OMR34,208,000 in 2022, while the total value of Oman’s imports from Jordan in 2023 amounted to about OMR27, 517,500, an increase of 41.5 percent compared to 2022, which amounted to more than OMR19,441,300.

Preliminary statistics show that the value of direct investments from the Jordan in Oman amounted to about OMR241,800,000 at the end of last year.

The number of companies registered in Oman with Jordanian shareholding by the end of 2023 was about 988 companies, compared to 758 companies in 2022, with a total invested capital of more than OMR78,778,000.

In last February, the two countries signed several memorandums of understanding in the field of attracting direct investment in available investment sectors and activities, developing and boosting cooperation between the chambers of commerce in both countries for commercial promotion and supporting foreign trade, in addition to encouraging and establishing trade and investment partnerships between the business sectors and expanding the horizons of economic cooperation and business relations between the two countries.

A memorandum of understanding was also signed between the Omani and Jordanian private sectors in the field of supply and trade.

During the past period, the two sides held many joint economic and investment meetings and forums with the participation of officials and stakeholders from the public and private sectors in both countries, to discuss means of expanding the horizons of trade cooperation and investment partnerships between them, activate bilateral agreements that support this, and benefit from the economic opportunities available in the two countries.

Faisal bin Abdullah Al Rowas, Chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) said that the economic, trade and investment relations between Oman and Jordan have witnessed remarkable development and growth over the past period, in the context of the continued interest and support of the leaderships of the two countries.

He told Oman News Agency (ONA) that the private sector in the two countries seeks to augment economic relations to the desired and reliable level of ambition in attracting investments and expanding the base of economic diversification between the two countries. This, said Al Rowas, aims to achieve the goals of “Oman Vision 2040” and the vision of Jordan’s economic modernization “unlocking the potential to build the future,” especially as both sides seek to provide all facilities and incentives that would enable the private sector to contribute to achieving prosperity and sustainable growth.

Khalil El Haj Tawfiq, President of Jordan Chamber of Commerce stressed the need for the private sector in both countries to exert more efforts during the next stage to push the economic, trade and investment relations between Oman and Jordan towards wider horizons.

He pointed out in a statement to ONA that a Jordanian business delegation will visit Oman soon, with the prime aim of discussing means of setting up joint projects with the Omani private sector, in a manner that contributes to increasing the volume of trade exchange between the two countries.

The Jordanian official called on the Omani private sector to benefit from the free trade agreements that link Jordan with many global economic blocs, to export its products to foreign markets in addition to neighbouring Arab countries.

With regard to the tourism sector, the number of Omani tourists who visited Jordan, according to the latest statistics last year, reached 21,738, and their number this year until the end of last April reached 6,757.

The Omani Studies Unit at Al al-Bayt University, funded by the government of the Sultanate of Oman, is one of the most prominent areas of cultural cooperation between the two countries, through which the bright aspects of Omani history and civilization throughout the ages and the contributions of the Sultanate of Oman to Islamic civilization are demonstrated in the religious, intellectual, cultural and political aspects.

The cultural cooperation between the two countries also includes several aspects, the most important of which is participation in cultural events, exchanging experiences in both countries, and participation in intellectual and literary festivals between Omani and Jordanian writers, as both sides are keen to participate in international book fairs organised in Muscat and Amman.

Meanwhile, the number of Omani students studying in Jordanian universities until the beginning of this year is estimated at 2,371 male and female students.