RIYADH: The Saudi-Oman Investment Forum and exhibition beginning in Riyadh on Wednesday discussed various ways and means to enhance long-term economic partnership between the two Gulf states in the investment and industry sectors.
Held under the theme “Partnership and Integration,” the four-day forum aims to build sustainable partnerships in key sectors and contribute to enhancing mutual interests between the two sides.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment hosted a senior delegation from Oman, which culminated in the signing of 13 Memoranda of Understanding in various sectors, including biochemicals, energy, mining, financial investment, logistics, maritime transport, and information technology among others.
The agreements signed at the forum underscore the long-standing partnership between Saudi Arabia and Oman, which has accelerated in recent years with several high-level engagements.
In December 2021, Saudi Arabia and Oman announced the opening of the first land crossing between the Gulf states to promote trade exchange, while in April last year Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih met with the Chairman of the Oman Investment Authority Abdulsalam bin Mohammad Al Murshidi to explore the enhancement of investment cooperation between the two countries.
This week’s four-day forum was opened by Al-Falih with Qais bin Muhammad Al-Yousef, Omani minister of commerce industry and investment promotion, who led the Omani delegation of diplomats and business leaders.
Al-Falih stressed the importance of the private sector’s role in Oman and Saudi Arabia in pushing the wheel of development forward as an active partner and contributor to the growth of economic, investment and trade sectors in the two countries.
He affirmed that the Saudi government is keen to strengthen investment relations with Oman, noting that the volume of trade exchange between the two countries during the first half of 2022 reached SR11.39 billion ($3.03 billion).
“This forum is the embodiment of a deep relationship between Oman and Saudi Arabia, coming together under the theme of ‘Partnership.’ We have the opportunity to create a roadmap that supports businesses and investments for a prosperous future,” said Al-Falih.
Al-Yousef lauded the distinguished relations between Oman and Saudi Arabia, which resulted in an increase of 219 percent in the volume of trade exchange between the two countries until September 2022 as compared to 2021.
Alongside the forum, Al-Falih and Al-Yousef jointly opened the maiden Saudi-Omani Industries Exhibition.
The exhibition is open to the public from Feb. 1 to 4, highlighting the strong economic relationship between both nations across several sectors, and showcasing products and services from small and medium enterprise, businesses from both sides to stimulate opportunities for investment.
Participating in the exhibition Sumaiya Abdullah AlRamdhani, CEO of the ELIF Entrepreneurship of Oman told Arab News: “This exhibition has opened for us so many lines, sharing experiences, exchanging business ideas with our counterparts from Saudi Arabia, and sharing our experiences with them, if they are interested in what we produce, our perfume. This gives us a new trade opportunity.”
The session on Wednesday saw several presentations by both Oman and Saudi representatives.
From the Oman side, Invest in 2040 and Special Economic Zones in the Sultanate of Oman were highlighted as opportunities available to Saudi investors, while Saudi officials presented Invest in Saudi Arabia and Special Economic Cities and Zones which showcased the areas available in the Kingdom.
On the sidelines of the forum, business-to-business meetings were held between representatives of the private sector in the two countries, discussing opportunities for cooperation and partnership and reviewing available investment opportunities.