Austrian foreign minister praises Oman’s peace-making role

MUSCAT, DEC 15 – “Oman is a highly strategic member of the GCC council, which plays an important role to maintain peace in the region. It has a tremendous role to play between the Indian Ocean and East African coast,” said Dr Karin Kneissl, Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was on a visit to the Sultanate of Oman to enhance the bilateral relations between the two countries, in an interview with the Observer.
“Oman is and has always been a crucial player in maintaining peace in this region and beyond and it can play even bigger role due to its strategic positioning and unique geopolitical features that the country is enjoying,” Dr Kneissl said before wrapping up her 48-hour-long visit to the country.
Avoiding double taxation between the two countries:
Dr Kneissl said the existing double taxation between countries will end soon. “We have had some effective talks with the Omani counterparts to avoid double taxation and only the formal action is pending. We are hopeful that the practical implementation will happen by next year,” she added.
More flights
“Certainly, an increased air traffic movement will help both inbound and outbound tourism flourish and we are positive to it.
However, increasing air traffic movement is a decision made by the airlines and we would always welcome increasing the frequency between the two to promote tourism. There are some highly positive signs to increasing air traffic between the two countries,” Dr Kneissl added.
Plans to boost bilateral trade
Last year, Oman imported €89 million worth of goods from Austria while the exports were €1.2 millions. 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 closing on double taxation, the Austrian Foreign Minister hoped.
Additionally, she said there would be more and better cooperation between the two in various other fields including healthcare. Austria’s VAMED, a medical technology investment company, has ambitious plans for the Sultanate.
During her visit here, Dr Kneissl met Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdallah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, and other ministers to discuss bilateral relations, and regional and international issues of mutual interest.