MUSCAT: Bilateral trade between the Sultanate of Oman and the United Kingdom has grown an impressive 45.2 per cent to reach a value of £1.4 billion (RO 670 million approx.) during the four quarters leading up to the end of Q1 2023, the British Department for Business and Trade revealed in a new report on Thursday.
The announcement came on the heels of high-level meetings between officials of the two governments held late last week with the aim of bolstering trade and economic ties. Oman's Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Investment Promotion, Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef, had met with Nigel Huddleston, the British Minister of International Trade, during the latter’s visit to Oman late last week. These meetings, which took place at the Invest in Oman Hall, marked a crucial step in advancing economic cooperation between Oman and the United Kingdom.
According to Faisal al Nabhani, Director of International Cooperation & Trade Relations at the Ministry, the discussions aimed to strengthen collaboration across critical sectors, with a strong emphasis on trade and commerce. Al Nabhani highlighted the significance of the exchange of knowledge and best practices between the two nations. Furthermore, these talks serve as a platform to align Oman's vision plans and strategies for implementation with evolving global dynamics, especially in vital sectors like green energy and investment attraction, he noted.
Notably, UK exports of services to Oman accounted for an overwhelming share of total bilateral trade. Valued at a total of £1.1 billion (RO 520 million) over the 12 months to the end of Q1 2023, it had grown by nearly 50 per cent over the year, according to the British Department for Business and Trade.
Around 44 per cent of UK exports to Oman during this period comprised goods, while the remaining 56%, represented services. A closer look at the data shows that UK exports of goods to Oman increased by £96 million, marking a growth of 24.6% at current prices compared to the four quarters leading up to the end of Q1 2022.
In an evolving global trade landscape marked by climate change, digital transformation, and shifting economic corridors, Oman and the UK are showcasing a determined commitment to adapt and enhance their collaborative efforts, said officials in reference to the latest round of trade talks between the two countries.
Both sides discussed bilateral trade growth indicators and strategies to increase trade and investment exchanges while enhancing trade relations. One prominent item on their agenda was the status of negotiations concerning the Free Trade Agreement between the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the United Kingdom.