Omani-Saudi relations are witnessing more coordination between the two countries in a number of political and economic arenas, while observers expect that the relations will witness new momentum in all spheres during the coming period in the wake of the anticipated visit of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to Riyadh.
During the past period, a number of Omani and Saudi officials have stressed the importance of these relations in the light of the developments in contacts between the two countries at various levels, starting with the visit of King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud to Muscat to offer condolences to His Majesty Sultan Haitham and the Omani government on the death of late Sultan Qaboos, followed by several reciprocal visits by officials and ministers.
The initiatives between the two countries to enhance economic relations have contributed to a new high, particularly in the economic domain, with Saudi Arabia moving to set up some strategic economic project in the Sultanate during the coming period. Both countries are also expected to sign a number of bilateral agreements in the commercial, industrial and logistical fields during the coming period.
His Majesty’s visit aims to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, with focus on economic prospects and investment opportunities that will have positive impact for the wider region. The two sides are expected to attend the signing of a number of trade agreements between the two countries, in addition to discussing regional files, including the conflict in Yemen, and resolving this crisis. Muscat has played a mediatory role between the parties involved in the conflict.
On Tuesday, the Saudi Press Agency, quoting the Saudi Council of Ministers, reported that a number of agreements will be signed between the Kingdom and the Sultanate in the fields of youth, sports, culture, commercial fields, audio-visual media, radio and television, investment promotion, communications, information technology, mail and transportation. This confirms a common desire to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in these areas.
The two countries also stress the importance of developing a long-term strategy to help them achieve more success in these sectors, and turn them into economic poles in the presence of the human elements and capabilities available in the two countries, while enabling the Kingdom to reach the Arabian Sea in the Indian Ocean by establishing industrial and commercial projects in the Duqm Special Economic Zone. At the same time, the two countries have a timeline to open the first land route linking Saudi and the Sultanate directly without passing through any third country.
Duqm Special Economic Zone, with its strategic location, has attracted a lot of local, Arab and foreign investments during the past decade. It has become one of the most prominent industrial and logistics areas in the region and the wider world. The new overland route will cut the distance between the two countries by about 800 km, which will help reduce travel time significantly.
In this regard, Sayyid Faisal bin Turki al Said, Sultanate’s Ambassador to Saudi, had referred to bilateral cooperation agreements that will be signed between the two countries, stressing the role of the private sector to benefit from them, and the investment opportunities available in those areas.