Bilateral trade between Oman, US soars to over $4 bn in 2018

Bilateral trade between Oman and the United States surged in value to over $4 billion in 2018, buoyed by a landmark Free Trade Agreement (FTA) forged by the two countries a decade ago.
The revelation came during a press conference jointly hosted by the Oman American Business Center (AmChamOman) and the US Embassy to shed light on this year’s Discover America Week, which kicks off at the weekend.
Speaking at the press briefing, which took place at the Grand Hyatt Muscat yesterday, US Ambassador to Oman, Marc J Sievers, said the FTA has played a pivotal role in fuelling the growth of trade and economic ties between the two countries.
“Since the 10 years of the FTA, Omani exports to the US have doubled, while US exports to Oman have increased even more than that,” Ambassador Sievers said. “Much of what American exporters send here are products that are not produced locally. What is advantageous about the FTA is that American products are available here at lower cost that they would be without the agreement.”
He also underlined the potential for stronger economic and commercial ties between Oman and the US. “We think there is more that can be done to expand our trade and that’s one of the goals of the Embassy, but also the Oman American Business Center. And we look forward to engaging on this with our friends in the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and also with American businesses here.”
Data published by the US Department of Commerce shows that American trade exports to the Omani market totalled around $2.415 billion last year, up from $1.984 billion in 2017. Omani exports, on the other hand, escalated to $1.275 billion last year, up from $1.066 billion in 2017.
Bilateral trade, totalling around $3.7 billion in 2018, is estimated at well over $4 billion if the value of services is factored in as well. For the first eight months of this year, bilateral trade in goods alone totalled just under $2 billion.
Significantly, bilateral trade has been on the uptrend over the 10-year timeframe of the FTA, US Department of Commerce figures show. It has more doubled from the 2010 tally of $1.878 billion to last year’s estimate of $4 billion for goods and services combined.
Exports from Oman to the US market typically include PET plastics, fertilisers and jewellery, while imports into Oman comprise airplanes, transportation equipment, automobiles, auto parts, electronics, machinery and foodstuff.