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Relations augur well for stronger economic ties

National Flags of the Sultanate of Oman and Egypt in Muscat during an official visit by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi on Monday.
National Flags of the Sultanate of Oman and Egypt in Muscat during an official visit by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi on Monday.

The Sultanate of Oman and the Arab Republic of Egypt have enjoyed historical and economic relations for more than 3,500 years.

In modern times, these relations have opened up to bilateral trade that has grown between the two countries in recent years. In 2021, bilateral trade amounted to RO 205.8 million in value, with Omani exports accounting for RO 145.6 million of the total and imports making up the remaining RO 60.2 million. Oil and gas are on the list of commodities exported from the Sultanate of Oman to Egypt, followed by iron, sardines, squid, aluminium wire, polypropylene, polyethene and others.

The most important commodities re-exported from the Sultanate of Oman to Egypt are self-propelled machines and devices, fuel oil for ships, household appliances, fibre-optic cables, drilling and soil extraction machines. The Sultanate of Oman imports from Egypt oranges, grapes, berries, peaches, sweet potatoes, fresh and chilled potatoes and cheese.

Significantly, capital investments have totalled around RO 714.7 million, according to the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Egyptian corporate sector enjoys a sizable presence in the Sultanate of Oman. Of 744 Egyptian companies operating in the country, 152 are in the trade sector, 86 in construction, 85 in transportation, 124 in services, 15 in education services, 52 in healthcare, 48 in real estate, 9 in energy, 24 in agriculture, 32 in tourism, 94 in industrial services, 3 in mining and 20 companies in the livestock sector.

Businesspersons in the two countries are keen to see the volume of trade exchange grow higher in keeping with the strong political relations and common interests linking the two sides. They have underlined the potential for Egyptian factories to operate in the free zones of the Sultanate of Oman. The longstanding maritime and logistical linkages between the two countries also bode well for stronger economic ties.

Indeed, the existence of a favourable economic climate and flexible investment law will encourage Egyptian businesses to seize promising investment opportunities in the Sultanate of Oman spanning real estate, manufacturing, tourism, mining, fisheries and pharmaceuticals. Logistics holds tremendous potential because the two countries have key international shipping lanes that link the East and West.

There are also great opportunities for Egyptian investors to set up factories in the free zones of the Sultanate of Oman. Investors can take advantage of the re-export potential of the Sultanate of Oman, which has signed beneficial free trade pacts with, among others, the United States of America. The Sultanate of Oman's distinctive geographical location overlooking the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean offer re-export opportunities for Egypt. The Sultanate of Oman's proximity to the countries of the Arabian Gulf and Iran have added advantages.

Omani-Egyptian economic relations are close and aimed at enhancing trade, industrial and investment cooperation, which will boosting economic growth in the two countries. The Egyptian-Omani Joint Business Council, held in January this year, recommended the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion's support in establishing a factory to manufacture pharma raw materials in Egypt. The Council also discussed the possibility of establishing an Omani-Egyptian company to benefit from fisheries and establish aquaculture projects in the Sultanate of Oman. It also called for the exchange of experiences between the two sides in the field of urban planning and the construction of tourist resorts.

Importantly, the Council called for the institution of a joint holding company of fund with a capital of $100 million to support joint investment and enhance trade. It highlighted the need to strengthen maritime and logistical links between the two countries, notably by leveraging Egyptian experience in the further development of Omani ports such as Salalah, Duqm, Sohar and Mina Al Sultan Qaboos. The establishment of a joint Omani-Egyptian fishing fleet was discussed as well.

Both sides have been working strenuously to strengthen economic and investment cooperation with the goal of raising trade relations between the two countries to new heights.


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