Besides enhancing the bilateral diplomatic relations, the decision to reopen its embassy in the Sultanate will see bilateral trade relations jump to post-oil crisis period, according to Dr Karin Kneissl, Foreign Minister of Austria.
In 2017, Oman imported €89 million worth goods from Austria while the exports were €1.2 million. These figures saw a decline in the past few years, but with the establishment of the Austrian Embassy here, the existing relations between the two will see a greater growth along with the avoidance of double taxation.
“Oman is an important geopolitical facilitator and central economic gateway towards Africa. Not only our bilateral relations will see newer horizons, but will positively reflect in bilateral tourism and people engagement,” Dr Kneissl said.
“We are working on ending the double taxation between the two countries besides enhancing our already existing understanding in investment protection agreement, air traffic movement, tourism, besides bilateral trade relations”, she added.
Earlier, she met with Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdallah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, where she announced that Austria will reopen its embassy in Muscat next year.
“Austria has an important role in regional and international issues and we hope that the Omani and Austrian sides will achieve more cooperation on these issues, especially those related to the international organisations of the United Nations,” said Yusuf bin Alawi.
He affirmed that the two countries have identical visions about the overall regional issues, especially in relation to the success of the negotiations of the Yemeni parties in Sweden.
Yusuf bin Alawi said that the two sides are working on a joint plan for the development of sectors of common interest to achieve the interests of both countries.
Dr Kneissl said her discussions with the Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs focused on bilateral relations, indicating that her country will reopen its embassy in the Sultanate, which means more cooperation.
She explained that she discussed with him the current situation in the region, especially the situation in Yemen and how to stand and support the Yemeni people, and that the two countries are looking for a better future for this Arab country.
As for the tourism cooperation between the Sultanate and Austria, Dr Kneissl affirmed that the presence of an Austrian Embassy in Muscat will open the door to strengthening cooperation in this important aspect through meetings of tourism experts and facilitation of procedures between the two friendly nations.