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Oman, Germany foster ties in many areas


Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman and the Federal Republic of Germany established diplomatic relations 50 years ago, and their cooperation covered a wide range of areas.

During his official visit to Germany, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik will hold a round of official talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The meeting will enhance existing cooperation and maximize exchanged benefits in economic, scientific, technical and technological spheres.

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External trade statistics show that the volume of commercial exchange between Oman and Germany stood at about RO 201.8 million by the end of 2021. German imports to Oman reached RO 172.9 million, while Omani exports to Germany stood at RO 28.8 million.

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Data issued by the National Centre for Statistics and Information indicate that commercial exchange between the two countries as at the end of March 2022 stood at RO 53 million. Key Omani exports to Germany included electronic equipment, tuna and pharmaceutical, medical, mining and plastic products. This is in addition to polyethylene products and electrical cables.

Germany's imports to Oman included machinery and chemical, pharmaceutical and products, as well as vehicles.

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Oman Investment Authority (OIA)’s investments undertaken with Germany cover a range of projects, including Hilton Dusseldorf hotel (of which OIA owns 90%), (Advario) a company tasked with operating Sohar Industrial Port terminal (an investment worth $27 million) and OQ chemical industries and products marketing firm, OXO—an investment worth $1.8 billion.

The Royal visit of His Majesty the Sultan to Germany will open up vistas for cooperation in clean energy, making use of Oman’s natural resources that attracted global attention to the country, like hydrogen, solar power, wind power and vast open areas.

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Royal directives issued last March focused on speeding up procedures to regulate the green hydrogen sector and establishing a company to develop this sector, with emphasis on creating an attractive investment climate, which paved the way for green hydrogen production projects, among them Hyport Duqm.

The Omani-German Joint Committee is taking tangible steps to implement an agreement for the mutual protection of investments. Major partnerships undertaken by the two sides under this agreement include a pact signed by OIA and a Germany company (Uniper) in the field of power generation and energy marketing. A second partnership pact brings together companies operating in green hydrogen techniques, while a third partnership sees the cooperation of Sohar Port and Free Zone and Hydrogen Rise company of Germany to support output at Jindal Shadeed’s low-carbon steel plant.

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As many as 23,289 German tourists visited the Sultanate of Oman over the first five months of this year (2022).

Oman and Germany decided key priorities for joint cooperation. These include the development of small and medium enterprises, research, tourism, healthcare and environment conservation. Many agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed within this context on ways to develop economic and industrial cooperation and regulate air transport. Oman and the European Union (EU) finalized steps towards a comprehensive air transport agreement and an MoU between the Civil Aviation Authority and the German air navigation company.

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Omani-German relations are set up on grounds of respect, good intention and mutual confidence in handling international issues. Principles of peaceful dialogue and respect for the International Law brought the two countries closer on the regional and global arenas and enabled them to operate better as partners in establishing international security and peace.

Last May (2022), the two countries commemorated, in Muscat, the anniversary of 50 years of diplomatic relations and inaugurated an emblem marking this occasion.

In the cultural field, the two countries celebrated their distinguished bilateral relations by organizing the Omani Cultural Week in Berlin (first held in 2008) and the Message of Peace exhibition (which focused on religious tolerance and whose theme was taught in three German schools)—and this was reflected in the Shabab Oman vessel’s “Friendship and Peace Pageant” that toured various international ports and participated in the Port of Kiel Week, Germany, last June (2022).

German cultural activities were manifest through the participation of Reinsberg and Opera Cologne bands, which performed at the Royal Opera House Muscat.

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Meanwhile, the two countries signed many agreements in the fields of education, higher education and scholarly innovation. Alongside Oman, Germany acts as member to the Middle East Desalination Research Centre, which seeks to establish peace and stability and enhance water desalination technologies to meet the needs of the region.

A number of Germans join colleges and institutions in Oman to learn Arabic at institutions like the Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic to non-Native Speakers. Seventeen German learners joined the programme between 2012 and 2020. As many as 89 Omanis registered as students in the Republic of Germany during the academic year 2021-2022, while 5 German students studied in Oman during the same year.

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