Arab News, Thursday, Jan 13, 2022 | Jamada Al-Aakhirah 10, 1443
Oman and UK discuss cooperation in clean energy, investment
Oman and the UK held
talks on Tuesday to discuss opportunities for trade and investment cooperation
in clean energy and mining in the sultanate and prospects for sustainable,
long-term expansion and growth.
The discussion, which attracted around 100 delegates and allowed Omani officials
to enter into dialogue with potential British investors, sought to develop
Omani-UK relations while promoting investment between the two countries, in line
with the goals of the sultanate’s Vision 2040.
It also sought to
identify steps UK companies needed to take to invest in Oman and develop the
country as a regional hub for clean energy.
Omani Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion Qais Al-Yousef
said his country had become more focused on promoting investment opportunities
in recent years and regarded Britain as a key partner in its efforts to develop
a stronger and more diverse economy.
He also said Oman
offered great opportunities in a range of key sectors and was keen to further
develop the historic relations it has with the UK.
Al-Yousef was part of a ministerial delegation visiting the UK to follow up on
Sultah Haitham bin Tariq’s visit last month, and included officials from the
ministry of finance and labor and the Oman Investment Authority.
The speakers at the event, organized by the Arab British Chamber of Commerce in
collaboration with the Oman Embassy in London and the British Embassy in Muscat,
highlighted investment opportunities in solar energy, renewable technology, wind
power and hydrogen, as well as tourism, fisheries and information and
The sultanate has
implemented investment incentives and a raft of measures to attract foreign
companies and to increase revenue to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19
pandemic on the economy.
Monetary Fund said in September that Oman is expected to switch to a surplus
this year, after a spike in fiscal deficit and debt last year due to the
pandemic and low oil prices.
Bill Murray, the UK
ambassador to Oman, who chaired the discussion said that the meeting was being
held within the framework of the UK-Oman joint action program to promote
He said Sultan Haitham’s visit to the UK in December was a milestone in UK-Omani
relations, adding that the roundtable was held on the day Oman marked the second
anniversary of the sultan’s rule.
“Several leading UK firms active in Oman in the clean energy and mining sectors
delivered positive accounts of their experiences of the Oman business
environment,” ABCC said.
The companies, which
were supported by the UK Department for International Trade and Export Finance —
the kingdom’s export credit agency, also commended the support available to
foreign investors and said authorities in the sultanate were keen to help
businesses succeed in the market.
Bandar Reda, ABCC secretary-general and CEO, pledged to support private sector
engagement and said prospects for closer business ties between the UK and Oman
were growing across all sectors.
“Driven by the ambitions set out in its Vision 2040, Oman is moving ahead to
diversify its economy, opening up new income streams and developing the skills
of its citizens to contribute to greater prosperity and economic
sustainability,” he said.
“At a time of global uncertainties, as we together face the combined challenges
of COVID, Brexit and the energy transition, one of the enduring certainties is
the increasing strength of Arab-British cooperation which is founded on the
friendship of our peoples,” Reda added.