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Oman, Korea pledge stronger ties in energy sector, new industries



Seeking to build on their close economic ties, the Sultanate of Oman and South Korea agreed on Thursday, October 20, 2022, to boost cooperation on energy and in new industry fields to ensure stable energy supply chains.

South Korean news agency Yonhap quoted the country’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy as saying that the pledge was made during the visit of Shaikh Khalifa bin Ali al Harthy, Diplomatic Affairs Under-Secretary at Oman’s Foreign Ministry. Al Harthy had talks with Korean Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun in Seoul.

The two sides underlined the need to secure stable energy supplies through joint efforts amid growing uncertainties in the global market, particularly as natural gas accounts for about 80 per cent of total trade between the two nations, said Yonhap.

In 2021, Oman was the fourth-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier to South Korea, accounting for 9.6 per cent of Seoul’s total LNG imports. South Korea was Oman’s No. 1 LNG buyer, taking up 44.2 per cent of Oman’s total gas exports.

“They also agreed to expand cooperation further to renewable energy, green hydrogen and other new sectors,” the trade ministry noted in its press statement.

During the meeting, Ahn noted that South Korean companies have taken part in various development projects in Oman, including the Duqm refinery project, and voiced hope for continued contribution to the development of the Sultanate of Oman.

He also called for the hosting of a joint economic committee meeting at an early date to discuss detailed ways to boost investment and energy cooperation, the ministry stated.

Bilateral trade between Oman and Korea climbed to $4.47 billion during the first nine months of this year, up from $3.39 billion for the whole year of 2021, Yonhap added, citing government data.

Oman News Agency (ONA) added that Al Harthy was in Seoul to attend the Oman-Korea political consultations committee meeting.

The two sides reviewed aspects of enhancing cooperation between the two countries, notably in the fields of energy, trade exchange and investments.

The Korean side showed interest in Oman’s promising opportunities in the green hydrogen sector and a keenness to invest in related industries. Both sides agreed to arrange visits for Korean business people to explore investment and tourism opportunities in Oman.

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