South Africa and Oman Commit to Enhance Trade Relations

Total trade between the two countries remained fairly consistent over the last five years and stood at R 5.9 billion in 2016, with Oman enjoying a trade surplus of R 4.7 billion, which is largely due to oil imports

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies and his Omani counterpart, Dr Ali Bin Masoud Al-Sunaidy addressed the SA – Oman Business Forum in Sandton, Johannesburg, today. The two Ministers committed themselves to ensure that overall trade and investment relations between the two countries are enhanced. The Ministers are of the view that trade between the two countries has performed below potential.

Minister Davies explained that the Business Forum was an opportunity for both South African and Omani officials to work energetically to ensure that the untapped opportunities between the two countries are explored.

“There are a number of realities in the world that create a necessity for us to strengthen our relationship. My counterpart, Dr Ali Bin Masoud Al-Sunaidy has briefed me on how Oman is reacting to the fall in the oil price and its objective to seek, diversify and strengthen other aspects of its economy. I was able to tell him that we as a mineral exporter, are faced with the same challenge of the end of the commodity super-cycle and are seeking to diversify our economy as well,” said Davies.

Minister Davies challenged South African businesspeople to take advantage of opportunities that Oman presents.

“There are significant opportunities particularly for agricultural and agro-processing industries to cooperate on both sides, around projects located in the Port of Sohar and  Richards Bay,” said Davies.

In addition, Davies stated that there were a number of opportunities for investment in the South African economy.

“We are embarking on a gas industrialisation programme which we think will open up opportunities. It’s been indicated to me that Oman has solid minerals it’s now moving to exploit, and we have pointed out that South African companies with an international footprint, have expertise in mining, mining equipment and mining technology,” he said.

The Omani Minister of Trade and Commerce, Dr Ali Bin Masoud Al-Sunaidy said that Omani companies are looking at finding long-term direct relationships with South African counterparts.

“There are areas in which South Africa has advanced as a country and we are keen to draw from that knowledge. We are at the beginning stages of expanding our mining sector and we feel there is a lot to learn from South Africa in that aspect. Minerals are going to be high on the agenda in our engagements going forward,” he said.

The two-day Ministerial visit will conclude with site visits to projects of economic opportunity around Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Total trade between the two countries remained fairly consistent over the last five years and stood at R 5.9 billion in 2016, with Oman enjoying a trade surplus of R 4.7 billion, which is largely due to oil imports.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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