Under the patronage of HE Yahya bin Said Al Jabri, Chairman of the Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD), Ithraa opened the Omani Saudi Trade and Investment Forum yesterday.
Held on the 22nd and 23rd of December in collaboration with SEZAD and Bank Muscat, the forum is looking to boost Oman – Saudi economic relations by attracting investments into the Sultanate’s tourism, fisheries, healthcare, financial services, logistics sectors and free-zones.
HE Yahya bin Said Al Jabri, Chairman SEZAD highlighted the importance of this Forum in shedding light on the various investment and trade opportunities available between Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He said Oman offers a wide range of incentives and benefits which together with the country’s strategic location and economic and political stability provide a competitive edge to investors seeking to enter into lucrative long-term partnerships.
HE. Al Jabri also spoke about the investment climate in Duqm and how SEZAD is committed to economic diversification by providing an ideal business and manufacturing to attract investments from multiple industries to thrive and grow.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the largest investors in the region and with the new road between Oman and Saudi scheduled for completion next year we expect to see our trade relations increase in size and value,” said HE Dr. Salem ben Nasser Al Ismaily, Chairman of Ithraa.
“This Forum is setting the stage for what is to come and is also allowing for Saudi businessmen to explore and better understand the rewarding opportunities Oman has to offer them in the short and long term.”
The two-day event will see Omani officials and companies present on planned and live projects from across the Sultanate to Saudi counterparts. High on the agenda are investment opportunities available in Duqm, the potential of fish farming and the growth strategy for Oman’s healthcare, tourism and logistic sectors. The Forum also includes a site visit to Duqm where Saudi business representatives will visit projects including the Drydock and Port.
Commenting on the Forum, Sheikh Khalid bin Mustahail Al Mashani, Chairman of Bank Muscat said, “Bank Muscat is proud to join hands with Ithraa to host the Omani-Saudi Investment and Trade Forum. The world economy has opened new avenues for cooperation between different countries and in this context the economic future of Oman and Saudi Arabia depends on the efforts made by us to benefit from the available opportunities. The private sector can play a vital role in building effective partnerships for economic growth, opening up the road for further cooperation between businessmen, states and economic blocs. The comprehensive economic development strategy pursued by Oman and Saudi Arabia serve as a strategic investment opportunity and we are optimistic the forum will achieve its objectives in realizing the joint interests of the participating bodies, leading to further consolidation of the economies of Oman and Saudi Arabia.”
Oman’s trade relations with Saudi Arabia has seen a sharp rise since 2011, increasing by an overall 73%, while the Sultanate’s non-oil exports to Saudi surged by 90% in 2013. Aiming to grow this long-standing trade relationship, the Oman – Saudi Trade and Investment Forum will help identify new business opportunities and areas of collaboration that will be mutually beneficial.
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