ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Oman to Pakistan Sheikh Mohammed Omar Ahmed Al Marhoon visited the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Thursday and expressed Oman’s keen interest in further enhancing bilateral trade with Pakistan.
Terming Oman a gateway to the Gulf, Africa and the Far East, he stressed that private sectors of both countries should step up efforts to exploit the huge and unrealised potential for mutual benefit.
Marhoon said Oman had planned a strategic railway project which would link it with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, adding enhanced cooperation with Oman would allow Pakistan easy access to the GCC states.
He highlighted that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had attracted world’s attention towards Pakistan and the private sector should fully gear up to reap full benefits of the mega development project.
He revealed that an oil and gas company of Oman would soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pakistan, expressing hope that it would open new opportunities for business collaboration between the two countries.
He asked the ICCI to increase interaction with the diplomats from Arab countries in order to explore new areas of cooperation in the region.
Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed said Pakistan and Oman were geographically linked through Gwadar, but bilateral trade was not up to the desired level.
He emphasised that both countries should focus more on promoting trade and economic relations that would bring highly beneficial results for both nations.
He said Pakistan could provide many products to Oman including food, fruits and vegetables, pharmaceuticals, textiles and others, adding the two countries should encourage frequent exchange of trade delegations to explore all potential areas of mutual cooperation.
He said many Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would be set up in Pakistan under CPEC with attractive incentives for foreign investors and called it the right time for Oman’s investors to explore Pakistan for joint ventures and investments.
He said the ICCI would like to sign an MoU with the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Oman embassy should cooperate in that regard.
ICCI Vice President Nisar Mirza said environment was improving in Pakistan for business activities and entrepreneurs of Oman should pay more attention to Pakistan.
He said both countries could cooperate in many areas including agriculture, energy, oil and gas and they should focus on strong business linkages between their private sectors to realise the untapped potential of business cooperation.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2017.