Haider Al Lawati –
With the recent opening of the new Oman Conferences and Exhibitions Center, it is now convenient to organise various exhibitions at once. Omani businessmen and foreign companies can host more specialised exhibitions to benefit more Omani traders and entrepreneurs entering the market.
A few days ago, the centre hosted the Iranian products exhibition in Muscat held by the Iranian Embassy in Muscat in cooperation with Omani Exhibition Business Company ‘Oman Expo’ under the auspices of Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, and Eng Mohamed Reza Nimat Zadeh, Iranian Minister of Industry, Commerce and Mining.
Iranian businessmen participating in the exhibition expressed satisfaction with this latest business activity, as they formed strong relations with Omani businessmen by finding more agents for their products in the country.
They said the Omani market can contain more Iranian products within existing official relations between Oman and Iran in various fields in the coming years.
Iranian participants believe the upcoming phase will see more trade and banking cooperation between the two nations following the lifting of economic embargo on Iran and allowing global banks to deal with Iranian banks directly.
According to Iranian participants, the step taken by Bank Muscat to open an office in Tehran with the support of the Central Bank of Oman and the Central Bank of Iran will boost future foreign trade operations through direct flights between the two countries, in addition to enhanced ferry traffic between ports of Oman and Iran.
They think the Omani market can accommodate more products it needs in light of the concerns expressed by the government for industrial, agricultural and service sectors.
They noted that Oman has various logistics components in the form of seaports, airports and service institutions, including the conferences and exhibition centre similar to global centres in advanced countries.
The Iranian exhibition was recently launched in Muscat with participation from a host of officials, ambassadors and businessmen from both countries.
Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy stressed that commercial relations between Oman and Iran are experiencing continued growth, but require concerted efforts by all parties to promote it. He said 2015 statistics indicate that bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $560 million and increased by the end of December 2016 to surpass the $1 billion mark.
The Iranian side confirmed this trend, as Eng Mohamed Reza Nimat Zadeh, Iranian Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade, noted that the expo aims at developing trade and economic ties between Oman and Iran whilst promoting possibilities and opportunities in Iran and developing relationships with the private sector through the Chambers of Commerce and industry.
Economic ties between Oman and Iran have made great strides over the past few years in the form of a number of bilateral industrial initiatives.
In this respect, Yahya bin Said bin Abdullah al Jabri, Chairman of the Special Economic Zone Duqm, met Iranian Minister Mohamed Reza Nimat Zadeh to address several issues of concern to some industrial projects aimed at Iran’s initiative, and to discuss challenges that lie ahead regarding visas and travels of businessmen between the two countries.
Meanwhile, both sides wish to proceed with the establishment of the Iranian car assembly plant in Duqm city, providing necessary ground and infrastructure for the plant and boosting the activities of Iran’s Khodro Car Manufacturing Company and Oman Investment Fund.
Projects between the two countries are currently underway, such as the Oman-Iran Gas Pipeline Project to be implemented in the near future.
Through these projects, the two countries are embarking on a new phase of economic cooperation
under the political and economic mobility.
Meanwhile, the Oman-Iran joint Economic Committee is driving forward these relations between officials of the two governments on the one hand and strengthening synergies with officials from Omani and Iranian institutions and companies on the other.