Foreign trade between Oman, Iran to get boost

Haider Al Lawati – haiderdawood@hotmail.com – A study recently conducted by the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (Ithraa) has confirmed the Iranian market is a promising one for Omani products. This requires enhanced commercial and economic cooperation between the two countries and establishing further coordination in relation to commercial and banking issues.
It also requires highlighting the importance of openness of merchants, businessmen and bankers in both countries to market Omani commodities and promote Omani products through exhibitions and bilateral meetings and arranging visits for representatives of Omani and Iranian companies to meet their counterparts for this purpose.
The Iranian press is showing interest in any economic news of relevance to both countries. During my recent visit to Iran just days ago, I was reading some Iranian newspapers published in Arabic, Farsi and English.
All of those contained news of Oman’s preparedness to issue visas for 1,000 Iranian merchants, announced by Salim bin Nasser al Ismaily, CEO, Ithraa, at the economic forum ‘Upgrading the Economic Freedom Index’ held in Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Iran.
This news comes in line with facilitating commercial relations between the two countries, as Al Ismaily emphasised the Sultanate’s readiness to issue entry visas through chambers of commerce for those seeking commercial cooperation with Oman.
Iranian newspapers also mentioned that the CEO confirmed that the relevant agencies can easily help individuals applying from Iran to establish companies. He noted that a higher committee had been formed in Oman to identify the responsibility of each minister in attracting investment, and all ministers have to submit reports of their performance by the end of each week.
He said Oman and the neighbouring countries can develop commercial and investment-related affairs in the belief that all of them need each other in achieving this vision.
Economic relations between the Sultanate and Iran have witnessed rapid growth in recent years. This has been attributed to the strong relations between the two countries, prompting the government to set up Oman Office for Economic Cooperation with Iran in Bandar Abbas, Hormuz Governorate.
The office has contributed to enhancing mutual cooperation and increasing economic, commercial and tourism activities between both countries, while businessmen and investors hope to develop trade exchange and further support
tourism activity in the upcoming period.
The volume of foreign trade (exports and imports) between the two countries is growing under such relations, according to a recent statement by the DG of Oman Economic Cooperation Office in Iran. He noted remarkable growth in this respect, while efforts are ongoing to build further relations in the commercial discipline.
Recently, a delegation of Omani businessmen from the Interior Governorate visited Kish Island and Bandar Abbas. Emad al Shekaili, official at the Omani Office, spoke about the importance of the economic relations between both countries, explaining that the Sultanate enjoys a strong economic relation with Iran.
The latter is planning to invest $4 billion in Duqm Port in projects, including the establishment of 100 large tanks for oil and gas and an iron smelting plant, in addition to investing $2 billion in Suhar and Salalah.
According to a study conducted by Ithraa, Iran is considered a target country in healthcare, logistics and minerals sectors.
The Office organises a series of annual activities and initiatives that can contribute to marketing the Sultanate as an important investment destination on one hand, and enhancing Omani companies’ knowledge of the Iranian market as a promising market on the other.
The Office also seeks to provide information related to the investment climate in Oman by receiving and replying to enquiries sent by Iranian investors, and by organising these programmes for representatives of Iranian companies wishing to learn about investment opportunities in the Sultanate’s various sectors.