Oman, Sri Lanka aim to boost bilateral trade
Bilateral trade between Oman and Sri Lanka could reach RO20mn this year, a more than three-fold jump over the trade that took place between two countries in 2017, according to a senior official of the Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OCCI).
Eng Redha Juma al Saleh, member of the board of directors of OCCI said that bilateral trade volume between Oman and Sri Lanka stood at around RO6mn in 2017, which is much lower than the potential both countries have.
Saleh was speaking at the inauguration of a business-to-business (B2B) meeting organised for a Sri Lankan trade delegation at Grand Hyatt Muscat on Tuesday. The Sri Lankan trade delegation comprising representatives from 11 companies is visiting Oman to explore the possibility of enhancing trade and investment with their counterparts in the sultanate.
“With the increase in trading activities between both countries following the cordial relation which both countries enjoy with each other, I believe total volume of trade between both countries could touch RO20mn this year,” Saleh said.
He explained that there are many areas such as agriculture, tourism, aquaculture and fishing and boat-buildings where both countries can complement each other and the potential these areas offered are yet to be utilised. “We should enhance this relation by organising more such visits of Sri Lankan delegations to Oman and Omani traders’ visits to Sri Lanka,” he said.
H E M K Pathmanaathan, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Oman said that there is an initiative going on at the government level to sign an agreement for the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments between Sri Lanka and Oman. He said two rounds of successful negotiation have already been completed.
“Many Sri Lankan products are exported to Oman through Dubai. This pattern is now changing as the Omani market is rapidly expanding,” he said, while adding that Oman is successfully promoting its ports as the gateway to other markets in the Middle East, Iran and North African region.
There is a great potential for Sri Lankan exporters to channel their products to the countries like Qatar and Iran through Oman without any hustle, H E Pathmanaathan added.