Omani delegation for increased bilateral trade – Business & Finance

KARACHI: Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) President Redha Jumma Mohamed Ali Al-Saleh said the time has come for the Omani and Pakistani business communities to work together, to see what needs to be done and how they can improve trade and investment relations.

“Oman and Pakistan have very good relations and the two countries have a lot in common, but the trade volume was not enough, which needs to be concentrated, because before the COVID-19 pandemic, the trade volume amounted to 655 million US dollars, but it came down to the United States. $ 250 million, ”said the President of OCCI, who led a 20-member Omani delegation during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).

The OCCI President further said that the visit of the Omani delegation, which arrived here after a long time, would certainly help to improve the existing trade and trade relations between the two countries. “As part of Vision 2040, Oman is working on five sectors, including mining, logistics, tourism, food security and industrial growth. As Pakistan also focuses on all these sectors; therefore, we can work together, ”he added.

He informed that Oman was open to foreign investment because, under the new rules, investors can now invest 100% of the capital without needing to have a local partner, but it was better to have a local partner who could help to easily set up businesses in Oman. “Compared to other countries, taxes in Oman were much lower with tax exemptions of up to five years. Oman also opened a route to Saudi Arabia, which significantly reduced the distance, cost and time; hence, Oman can become a hub for export to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and GCC countries. “

The President of OCCI informed that Oman had free zones where no tax was applicable on production for exports, while incentives were also offered to new investors who can start businesses in an economic, social environment. and stable policy with the availability of advanced infrastructure and other benefits, including tax. exemptions on equipment for the implementation of industrial projects.

He admitted that obtaining an Omani visa was not an easy task, but the Embassy of Oman in Pakistan and OCCI were seriously working to make it easier. “We are ready to assist any Pakistani businessman in obtaining a visa to facilitate your visit.”

He was of the opinion that Karachi Chamber was the right platform for Omani investors to seek advice before setting up joint ventures with Pakistani companies and the same was the case for Pakistani investors who can contact Oman Chamber before joining. to an Omani company.

President BMG Zubair Motiwala, in his remarks, said that Pakistan and Oman have enjoyed friendly and excellent relations since the establishment of Pakistan, and it is heartwarming to see the Pakistani workforce working comfortably in Oman. . Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, during his 40 year rule, has done a wonderful job of turning a desert into one of the most modern countries in the world. “The new ruler of Oman Haitham bin Tariq is also doing a great job in bringing about positive changes which mean that Oman’s progress will continue in the times to come,” he added.

He said that although government-to-government relations exist, people-to-people relations are also very important and must not only be maintained but also improved. “Pakistan’s exports to the world have increased by 20% every month thanks to conducive investment policies and favorable business environment; therefore, Omani investors should explore the possibility of setting up businesses or setting up joint ventures in Pakistan.

Zubair Motiwala, while referring to the meager trade volume of around US $ 650 million between Pakistan and Oman, stressed that the two countries must examine the problems and identify the bottlenecks that have hampered trade and efforts. collectives to do to take the current trade volume to at least US $ 1 billion.

“The trust deficit is one of the main issues to be addressed, as obtaining a business visa to explore the trade and investment opportunities in Oman is very difficult, which needs to be simplified, while the exchange of trade delegations should also take place frequently with one-country exhibitions in Karachi and Muscat which would certainly prove to be more effective in promoting trade and investment, ”he said, adding that the greater stimulus for trade is regional cooperation and regional connectivity rather than international trade. “We need to complement and complement each other by sharing expertise and creating joint ventures. ”

KCCI Senior Vice President Abdul Rehman Naqi, while warmly welcoming the Omani delegation, pointed out that Pakistan exported US $ 149.22 million worth of goods to Oman in 2020 while imports from Oman amounted to 614.81 million US dollars. “There are a number of products in which the two countries can improve trade such as semi-milled or fully milled rice, textile tents, fresh or dried guavas, mangoes, onions and shallots, apples fresh or chilled earth, etc.

He also stressed the need to establish a Joint Oman-Pakistan Business Council to strengthen trade cooperation and economic relations between the two friendly countries. “In addition, the Special Economic Zones established under the CPEC provide an ideal opportunity for Omani investors to consider Pakistan for investments and joint ventures, especially in the food sector. Oman can strengthen economic cooperation with Pakistan through investment, as there are vast investment prospects in industry, livestock, energy, agriculture and information technology.

Pakistan and Oman should cooperate in the area of ​​”blue economy”, including improving tourism through frequent ferry service given their proximity, he said, adding that Pakistan can benefit enormously from the progress. technologies of Oman in the oil sector.

Deputy Consul General of Oman Consulate General in Karachi Hamood Nasser Al Nahdi, Pakistan Ambassador to Oman KK Ahsan, Vice President BMG Tahir Khaliq, Vice President Qazi Zahid Hussain and members of the Steering Committee of KCCI were also present.

Commercial copyright recorder, 2022

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