Muscat: For the second year in a row, Oman particpated in the Vilnius Book Fair showcasing the country’s culture, history, top tourism attractions, and economic achievements, which over the past several decades, have transformed Oman into a modern nation.
“After last year’s huge success, when the Omani stand was visited by thousands, including President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, we did not have the slightest of doubt that our participation in the exhibition should become a tradition,” said Boleta Senkienė, the Honorary Consul of Oman in Lithuania.
Oman was the first Arab nation to take part in the Vilnius Book Fair, the largest annual book show in the region.
The Sultanate’s pavilion included several Omani publications with Arabic and English languages in the developmental, cultural, literary, economic and tourist fields.
The Omani pavilion also included 12 book published by the Ministry of Information, in addition to craft section that highlighted the traditional handicraft and other sections for the traditional costumes and photos of the Omani nature. The pavilion also presented a documentary on the Sultanate’s achievements during the past 45th years of the Blessed Renaissance under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
The Sultanate’s participation in this event comes in a bid to enhance the communication with the world’s countries and to highlight the achievements of the Blessed Renaissance, as well as strengthening the good relations binding the Sultanate and the friendly Republic of Lithuania.
As last year, the temporary staff included several specialists from the country’s Information Ministry to answer questions and hand out presents.
“Oman has been using book shows as a means of introducing their country to a wider world with remarkable success. In this context, Lithuania is important as a potential gateway to the Baltic and Nordic states,” stated Senkienė.
Oman is the only Arab country that has a representative office in the Baltic States.
Mohammed K. Al Busaidi, head of the Minister’s Office at the Information Ministry of Oman who was in charge of the Omani stand last year, had said he did not expect to meet several dozen Lithuanians who had actually been to Oman.
“This surely shows that we need to promote tourism and other bilateral ties,” he added.
Business and political relations between Oman and Lithuania received a boost more than two years ago, after the opening of the Honorary Consulate of Oman in Vilnius at the end of 2013.
Senkienė, the Honorary Consul, has taken part in organising almost ten visits of Omani officials to Lithuania. February 2015 witnessed the first ever visit of Lithuania’s Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius and several dozen Lithuanian business people to Oman.
There are several potentially beneficial sectors as far as bilateral ties are concerned, including e-Government projects in Oman, the exports of Lithuanian food products, student exchange programmes, and medical tourism in Lithuania.
For Lithuanian businesses, Oman is a potential springboard to the entire Gulf region, with 70 million consumers. -With inputs from ONA