Tehran, Muscat explore avenues of economic co-op

December 8, 2019 - 15:49

TEHRAN – An Iran-Oman business forum was held on Sunday, in which the two countries explored ways of further boosting economic relations, IRNA reported.

Hosted by Iran Chamber of Commerce Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA), the forum was attended by senior officials including Iranian Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Rahmani, Oman's Minister of Industry and Commerce Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, and ICCIMA Head Gholam-Hossein Shafeie.

In the forum representatives of the two countries’ businessmen discussed potential areas for expansion of trade and the Omani side called for cooperation with Iran’s knowledge-based companies in various areas.

Speaking in the event, Al Sunaidy put the two countries’ trade turnover at nearly $1 billion, saying “in the past, the two countries’ trade barely reached a few million dollars and we have witnessed a significant development in economic relations.”

He also welcomed Iran’s suggestion for barter trade, calling it a great solution for increasing the level of trade between the two countries.

 Facilitation of banking transactions

During his visit to Iran, the Omani Minister who headed a trade delegation also held talks with the Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) on Saturday and discussed ways of developing and facilitating banking relations between the two countries.

Speaking in the meeting, CBI Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati mentioned the positive relations between the two countries, saying “Fortunately, the barriers to economic and trade relations between the two countries have now been removed and encouraging businessmen to expand their relations is on the agenda for both governments.”

Referring to his recent visit to Oman and talks with the foreign minister and governor of Oman’s central bank, Hemmati said: "Facilitating money transfer between the two sides is the key for expanding trade and economic relations."

He further mentioned some of the areas for mutual cooperation, saying that in order to boost trade and tourism between the two countries, the development of air and sea transport lines between the two sides is being seriously pursued.

At the meeting, al Sunaidy expressed his country’s willingness for developing trade between the two countries, saying that the Omani government will make every effort to facilitate trade between the two countries and the steps taken in this regard reflect this determination.

Despite the U.S. re-imposition of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Oman is getting closer to Iran both politically and economically. There is also the same approach adopted by Iran, as Iranian companies now prefer to conduct trade with Oman rather than the United Arab Emirates (UAE), given that the UAE is highly complying with the sanctions.

Iran is somehow replacing some of its previous strategic trade partners such as UAE with Oman, considering the Sultanate as an economic-trade hub.

During the current year, there have been many meetings and negotiations between trade and economic officials from the state-run and private sectors of the two sides with the aim of strengthening and expanding bilateral trade ties.

EF/MA

Photo: Omani Minister of Industry and Commerce Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy (2nd L), Iranian Industry, Mining, and Trade Minister Reza Rahmani (2nd R) and Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Gholam-Hossein Shafeie (1st R) attended an Iran-Oman business forum in Tehran on Sunday.

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