Muscat: Officials at the World Trade Organization commended the Sultanate’s efforts to reinforce international trade and its pivotal role in the organization in various levels and fields.
The WTO officials affirmed that the Sultanate is supportive of the international organization’s activities and it has a long history in international trade. The Sultanate’s legacy in global trade is being utilized through its membership in the WTO with high efficiency being a supportive partner that is ready to help other member states within the organization. They added that the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) hosts the WTO chair. They reaffirmed that the Sultanate’s joining the conventions on curbing harmful trade practices gave local companies the right to protect their products against such practices. These conventions have contributed to an increased inflows of foreign investments. According to the latest data issued by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the overall foreign direct investment (FDI) amounted to RO 15.64 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2020.
The Deputy Director-General of WTO said: “We are lucky that the Sultanate is a member of the WTO for several reasons. One of these reasons is its long history in international trade.”
Former US ambassador to the World Trade Organization, Peter Allgeier, said: “The WTO has benefited from the Sultanate’s constructive participation at a time when the organization is seeking to confront a lot of challenges facing the international trade system. The US is grateful to the Sultanate for being the first Arab country to recognize the US as a young country at the beginning of the 19th century.”
Hilda bint Ali al Hinaiyah, representative of the Sultanate’s office at the WTO in Geneva, underscored the multiple benefits of the Sultanate’s WTO membership including carrying out structural reforms, modernization of laws and systems and the opening of markets to the WTO member states. She added that the organization has 164 member states all of which had opened their markets to the Omani products which in turn led to an increase in non-oil products exports over the past twenty years. The export of Omani products has been extended to North America and Latin America.