Haider Al Lawati –
The Oman-Qatar Business Leaders Meeting was held recently in Doha in support of entrepreneurship projects and to highlight the role of Omani and Qatari companies as well as provide services and facilitate procedures for obtaining contracts and tenders. At the same time, it emphasised the Omani-Qatari economic relations and ways to boost these in the future.
Statistics show that economic cooperation between the two countries recently doubled (120 per cent) in many sectors, in line with the wide-range facilities provided by the Sultanate to GCC investors, especially Qatari businessmen, to support economic integration between the two countries, encouraging investors and facilitating procedures for them to increase investments and raise direct trade initiatives through sea and airports in both countries.
According to data from Qatar’s Ministry of Energy and Industry, the past period witnessed doubling of the volume of trade exchange between Qatar and Oman, with joint investments between the two countries reaching QR 5.5 billion, of which QR 427 million accounted for Omani investments in Qatar.
This figure includes the supply of foodstuff and building materials, and plans of businessmen from both countries to establish a number of factories in Qatar.
The volume of Qatari investments in the Sultanate is divided between communications, electricity, vehicle assembly and foodstuff along with investment in the tourism sector.
This is in addition to the increase in trade exchange frequency with inauguration of Hamad Port marine routes with Salalah and Sohar ports.
Moreover, Qatar is keen in this regard and spares no effort to provide incentives to Omani investors and businessmen by providing them with facilities to attract them to invest in Qatar.
These sizeable facilities provided by authorities concerned in the two countries helped carry out many tasks and eliminated some of the obstacles preventing the business sector from benefiting from the investment climate in the two countries.
Omani goods began flowing in as well as the Qatari capital flow to the Sultanate in a number of sectors, including food and construction materials sectors, especially as Qatar has commitments to strengthen its infrastructure and preparations for the organisation of the football World Cup in 2022.
Oman-Qatar cooperation resulted in the field of joint investment brought in Qatari investors to 148 companies in the Sultanate. Meanwhile, investments of Qatar government in the Sultanate exceed $4 billion, while in contrast there are 115 Omani companies that have invested in Qatar in full ownership, in addition to 106 Omani-Qatari companies with a total capital of QR427.4 million.
Both countries are sparing no effort in providing incentives to investors and businessmen and in providing them with facilities, which is an attractive factor for both parties to invest in the other country.
According to Omani and Qatari officials, the outcome of the recent meeting was a promising opportunity to strengthen Omani-Qatari partnerships, stressing the importance of strengthening cooperation between investors and businessmen and embracing investment opportunities that will achieve common economic goals and uplift GCC countries as well as enhance industrial and economic integration among them in various fields.
Furthermore, this meeting could not be held at a better time, when economic relations between the two countries are experiencing continuous development, promoting joint investment in all sectors, including trade, industry, transport, food security and others, with promising investment opportunities between the two countries, which requires enhanced cooperation in sectors such as industry, technology, telecommunications, education and others.
They also showed their keenness to encourage the private sector and help entrepreneurs develop their business in small and medium enterprises to achieve mutual benefit and success between the two countries.