Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman and the Arab Republic of Egypt continue promoting their distinguished relations in various political, economic and cultural areas. They also back all matters that serve the joint interests of their peoples.
The official visit of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to Egypt this Sunday carries a great significance, as His Majesty’s talks during the visit with President Abdul Fattah el Sisi will have a positive impact on the bilateral relations between the two countries.
It is worth mentioning that Oman and Egypt signed a number of MoUs and executive programmes during the visit of the Egyptian President to Oman in June 2022.
Statistics issued by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) indicate that the volume of trade exchange between Oman and Egypt increased in 2022, amounting to approximately OMR393.628 million, compared to OMR217.742 million in 2021.
The value of Omani exports to Egypt increased from OMR157.515 million in 2021 to OMR298.077 million in 2022, while the value of Omani imports from Egypt amounted to OMR95.551 million in 2022, compared to OMR60.227 million in 2021.
Statistics show that the balance of trade between the two countries in 2022 was in favour of Oman, amounting to OMR202.526 million.
Abdullah Nasssir Al Rahbi, Ambassador of Oman to Egypt and its Permanent Representative to the Arab League said that the official of His Majesty the Sultan to Egypt comes after less than one year from the Egyptian President’s visit to Oman, which reflects the attention that Oman’s government attaches to Egypt.
In a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA), Al Rahbi pointed out that Oman and Egypt celebrated last November, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between them. This period, the ambassador explained, witnessed events that underlined the depth and strength of this relation, most importantly Oman's support for Egypt following the Arab boycott after it signed the Camp David Accords.
He affirmed that the two countries share common principles, including non-interference in the affairs of others, paying attention for the regional security and stability and playing an important role in this aspect.
Al Rahbi affirmed that investment indicators between Oman and Egypt began to improve over the past 3 years, stressing the need for cooperation in the economic field to meet the historical relations between the two countries.
The ambassador called upon Egyptian investors to utilise the investment opportunities available in Oman, particularly in the economic zones and ports.
He pointed out that a number of Egyptian investors have started to invest in various fields, such as the manufacture of fertilizers and plastics in the free zones, in addition to the tourism area. There are also talks with some investors in the areas of food security, he added.
The ambassador also talked about the cultural cooperation between Oman and Egypt, pointing to the Egyptian teachers who contributed to the educational march in Oman since the dawn of the blessed renaissance. He also touched on the cooperation between Oman and Egypt in areas of media and higher education.
Khalid Mohammed Radi, Ambassador of Egypt to Oman said that the upcoming historic first visit of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to Egypt and his meeting with President Abdul Fattah el Sisi will advance the deep-rooted relations between the two countries towards broader horizons.
The ambassador said in a statement to ONA that the visit will review various bilateral matters and international issues of common concern. The visit, he affirmed, represents a qualitative shift in the march of Omani-Egyptian relations.
The Egyptian Ambassador added that His Majesty the Sultan and the Egyptian President will discuss means of promoting relations on the political, economic, commercial, cultural and social levels. The meeting will also cater to Omani-Egyptian coordination on various regional and international issues. He added that the region needs more coordination and cooperation to insure peace, security and stability.
He pointed out that the previous visit of the Egyptian President to Oman marked a turning point for the two countries’ relations. The visit included the signing of several agreements covering various areas, such maritime navigation, investment, trade, industry, combating monopoly, providing the means for free competition, industrial development, investment promotion, the environment, vocational and technical training and higher education.
He also said that signing these agreements has set the foundation to enable extensive mutual cooperation. This, he said, is reflected on the increasing volume of trade exchange between the two countries as business and economic relations between Oman and Egypt saw a major development in 2022.
Ambassador Radi indicated that the volume of intra-trade between Oman and Egypt increased by 52 percent compared to 2021. The volume of trade exchange reached 1.09 billion Egyptian Pounds. Egyptian exports to Oman stood at $433 million while Egyptian imports from Oman stand at $760 million. The figures, he affirmed, reflect the keenness of the two countries to develop mutual relations.
He said that exports from Oman to Egypt include metal ores, fish, aluminium and its related industries and organic chemical products. Meanwhile, Oman imports from Egypt some agricultural products, furniture, electrical appliances and dairy products, among other products.
According to the directives of the two countries’ leaderships, he said, officials from both countries are working jointly to develop relations in various fields. This move is reflected on economic, commercial and investment fields. He added that the volume of Egyptian investments in Oman is close to $2 billion.
He said that Oman’s investment-encouraging and positive milieu, in addition to its regulations and facilities provided for foreign investors, all encourage investors to come to Oman.
The ambassador stressed that the upgrades in Oman’s credit rating is an indication of the efforts exerted under the Royal directives of His Majesty, which made Oman an oasis of security and stability. The Sultanate of Oman, he underscored, is a hub for foreign investors, including Egyptians.
Further, Ambassador Radi noted that the number of Egyptian companies in Oman is on a continuous rise, reaching near 1,900 companies. The number echoes the advance relations between the two countries.
The visit of His Majesty the Sultan, he further said, is a message which further increases motivation to enhance relations on various levels, especially in economic, commercial and cultural spheres.
The ambassador described the mutual cultural relations as immense and diverse. Those relations, he added, cover a spectrum of fields, such as arts, literature, translation, cinema and the theatre.
He reiterated that the two countries share similar political views on various regional and international issues. This stems from shared values that are based on establishing principles of security, peace and adhering to the international law.
The Egyptian ambassador lauded the Sultanate of Oman’s distinguished diplomacy in dealing with various issues in the region.
He pointed out that Oman spares no effort in supporting peace efforts in various parts of the region.
Khalid Mohammed Radi, the Ambassador of Egypt to Oman highlighted the care and attention received by the Egyptian community in Oman from the government and the people. He said that the Egyptian community is taking part in various development programmes in Oman and contributes positively to the country’s development in various fields.
On his turn, Dr. Salim Sleem Al Junaibi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) in Al Wusta, Member of the Omani-Egyptian Business Council, said that the visit of President Abel Fattah El Sisi to Oman in June 2022 contributed to strengthening bilateral cooperation in various business, economic and investment fields.
Al Junaibi told ONA that the number of Egyptian companies investing in Oman during 2020 stood at 744 with a total capital of $1.856 billion. Omani investments in Egypt stood at $68.8 million during the financial year 2020/2021 compared to $15.8 million during the financial year 2019/2020, he added.
Moreover, Dr. Ahmed Ridha, Deputy Head of the Egyptian side in the Omani-Egyptian Business Council said that the council is working towards boosting bilateral relations and augmenting trade exchange and investments between the private sectors of the two countries.
He added that His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and President Abdul Fattah el Sisi directed during their meeting in 2022 to study the establishment of a joint investment fund to invest in feasible projects in various vital sectors.
Dr. Ahmed Ridha said that the proposed capital for the fund stands at $100 million. Both the Omani and Egyptian governments will provide $40 million, while the remaining $20 million will be provided by businesspeople from both countries.