There is untapped potential for Saudi investments in Oman, officials said at the Omani-Saudi Investment and Trade Forum which began at the Bank Muscat headquarters on Monday.
The two-day forum is being organised by Oman’s public trade authority, Ithraa, in collaboration with Duqm Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZAD) and Bank Muscat. It has brought a group of Saudi businessmen to Oman to look at investment opportunities in the tourism, fisheries, healthcare, financial services and logistics sectors and free zones.
H H Sayyid Faisal bin Turki al Said, director general for marketing and media at Ithraa said that there were a lot of opportunities for Saudi businesses to invest in Oman and the country is hoping that more significant investments would happen in the future.
He said Oman is looking at investments in the fields of real estate, fisheries, healthcare, hotels, and shopping. Oman’s trade with Saudi Arabia has increased 73 per cent since 2011, while the sultanate’s non-oil exports to Saudi Arabia surged 90 per cent in 2013. Both countries are seeking to develop industries other than oil exports.
Mohammed bin Saleh al Khalil, a member of the Saudi Chambers of Commerce, said, “We are looking to increase investment opportunities in Oman: they are supposed to be much more.”
Saudi companies have the expertise to invest in the tourism, manufacturing, mining, petrochemicals, and medical sectors, he said, adding that 15-20 Saudi firms were represented at the forum. Sayyid Faisal said the Duqm area was looking to develop logistics, hospitals, schools and shopping malls. The second day of the forum includes a trip to Duqm.