‘Oman among top four Arab trading partners of China’

Energy Sunday 11/March/2018 22:28 PM
By: Times News Service
‘Oman among top four Arab trading partners of China’

Muscat: Yu Fulong, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Sultanate said that there are many common platforms in foreign policies between the Sultanate and China.
He said in an interview with a local Arabic newspaper that under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Sultanate has built a remarkable path of Renaissance over the past decades. In addition to its economic achievements, the Sultanate has also gained respect and confidence of various countries of the world. China considers the Oman an important country in North Africa and West Asia region, and pays a great attention and appreciation to its peaceful foreign policies and its unique and constructive role in maintaining the security and safety of the region.
He pointed out that the Sultanate has a great potential for development. He added that the Sultanate is an important station along the “Belt and Road” initiative, and it enjoys geographical advantages, including the ease of maritime transport and its proximity to many promising markets. He said that the two sides seek to combine the advantages of the Sultanate with the potential of Chinese companies to turn them into driving force that benefit both countries.
He pointed out that the Chinese-Omani Industrial City in the Economic Zone of Duqm has received a great attention from the business community and the governments of the two countries.
He stressed that the construction work in the project is underway, as the general design of the first phase of the project is currently under approval by the concerned authorities in the Sultanate.
He added that the industrial city will play a major role in supporting trade cooperation between the two countries by taking advantage of the potentials of Chinese companies in industry and capital on one side, and the Sultanate’s potentials on the other side, in terms of the strategic position and the proximity to promising markets and policies to facilitate and attract investments to the Duqm region, which contribute to the acceleration of the growth of non-Omani oil sectors and the diversification of the economic structure and the national income of the Sultanate.
He stressed that the Chinese government encourages high-quality companies to come to the Sultanate for investment cooperation in various fields with the Omani side, pointing out that this comes in line with the Sultanate’s trend in recent years to the strategy of economic diversification and continuous improvement of laws and regulations and the special environment related to attracting investment.
The Chinese Ambassador said that the Sultanate is the fourth largest trading partner of China in the Arab world.
The volume of trade exchange between the two countries in 2016 reached $14.17 billion.
China has been the largest importer of Omani crude oil for a number of years in a row.
The crude oil trade is the basis of trade exchange between the two countries, as China imported 35,061 million tons of Omani crude oil in 2016, accounting for 9.2 per cent of China’s total oil imports, valued at $11.13 billion, accounting for 78.6 per cent of the total volume of trade between the two countries.
He pointed out that since 2017, with the rise in oil prices, the Omani-Chinese trade has witnessed a growth momentum.
He explained that in the first nine months of 2017, trade between the two countries reached $11.87 billion, an increase of 14.3 per cent over 2016.
Compared to 2016, the volume of imports from China reached $10.8 billion, an increase of 15.44 percent.
He stressed that the Chinese Embassy in the Sultanate encourages and looks forward to the arrival of more Chinese to the Sultanate, appreciating the Sultanate’s positive efforts in developing relations with his country.
He expressed the hope that the Omani side will continue to facilitate the granting of visas to Chinese tourists and merchants coming to the Sultanate, which will contribute to the development of cooperation between the two countries, especially in the field of tourism and other fields.
He pointed out that there are currently about 120 million Chinese people who travel abroad annually for tourism and spend up to #170 billion, representing one of the most important tourist-exporting markets.