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Iran, Oman Stress Implementing Joint Projects in Free, Special Zones

Senior officials of Iran and Oman’s commercial-industrial free zones have emphasized the need for expanding relations and implementing joint projects in such zones, Iranian Free Zones News Agency (Freena) reported.

In a meeting between Secretary of Iran’s Free Zones High Council Hojatollah Abdolmaleki and Oman’s Chairman of the Public Authority for Special Economic and Free Zones Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy in Muscat, the two sides stressed the implementation of a memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries on cooperation for encouraging companies active in special economic and free trade zones to expand business relations, establish branches and implement ventures.

According to Abdolmaleki, Iran-Oman cooperation in the free zones would pave the way for the further imports and exports and the increase in employment and investment.

Also, during a meeting between Iran’s Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Abbas Ali-Abadi and Oman’s Energy and Minerals Minister Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi in late September, the two sides stressed the need to expand and strengthen cooperation in the fields of industry and mining.

As reported, Ali-Abadi was accompanied by his deputy for machinery and equipment industries, Mohammad Mousavi, his deputy for mines and materials processing, Reza Mohtashami-Pour, as well as his deputy Mehdi Zeyghami, who is also the head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), in his trip to Oman.

Aiming to expand economic ties, Iran and Oman signed four cooperation documents in various areas including energy, investment, and free zones during the official visit of Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said to Tehran in late May.

The document on the energy sector was signed by Iran’s Oil Minister Javad Oji and Omani Minister of Energy and Minerals Salim bin Nasser al-Aufi.

The two countries also signed three other documents to cooperate in the economic, investment, and free zones sectors.

Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ehsan Khandouzi and Secretary of Iran’s Free Zones High Council Hojatollah Abdolmaleki signed the mentioned documents with the ministers of economy and commerce of Oman.

Mentioning the prospects of economic relations between the two countries in the future, Khandouzi said: “Considering that after the visit of President Raisi to Muscat last year, the volume of business exchanges between Iran and Oman increased significantly, the evidence indicates that the coming months and next year will also witness an increase in trade relations between the two countries.”

“Our agreement with our Omani counterparts is for the relations between the two countries to enter a phase of joint investments in addition to completing the current trade ties, which will create a much more lasting economic link in the long term,” Khandouzi noted.

Meanwhile, in mid-July, the head of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) called for promoting joint investment between the private sectors of Iran and Oman in order to boost the trade exchanges between the two countries.

Hossein Selahvarzi made the remarks in a meeting with Omani Ambassador to Tehran Ibrahim bin Ahmed Almuaini.

During the meeting, Selahvarzi expressed the readiness of the private sectors of Iran and Oman for joint investments, as well as, using transit capacities of the two countries for re-exports if the necessary infrastructure is provided by the governments of the two countries.

Referring to the 40 percent growth of trade exchanges between the two countries in the previous year, the official said: “Although this positive trend is significant, the ICCIMA is trying to increase the volume of exchanges as much as possible.”

He pointed out that the Joint Economic Committee meeting of Iran and Oman will soon be held in Tehran, noting that the ICCIMA is ready to discuss ways of facilitating the trade between the private sectors of the two countries in the mentioned meeting.

“The main obstacles facing the cooperation of the two countries’ private sectors are related to banking transactions and transportation,” Selahvarzi added.

He further mentioned Oman’s long-term development plan for 2040 and said: “The Iran chamber is working on an action plan for the active participation of the private sectors of the two countries in this development plan.”

Welcoming the remarks of the ICCIMA head, Almuaini said: “The Omani government regularly encourages the country’s private sector to increase exchanges with Iran and we are trying to facilitate such exchanges and remove obstacles.”

“Until five years ago, the exchanges between the two countries did not exceed $200 million dollars, but now it has increased to more than two billion dollars. Of course, although the progress of economic relations between the two countries is significant, we should not be satisfied with this level,” the envoy added.

Also, in early May, a Joint Iran-Oman Business Forum was held at the place of ICCIMA in a bid to boost trade exchange between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Sultanate of Oman.

The forum aimed at consolidating bilateral business relations, conducting strategic partnerships to augment the volume of investments and business activity, and accessing new economic fields.

Several B2B meetings were held during the forum between Omani and Iranian businesspeople. The meetings targeted striking business and investment deals. As many as 250 Iranian firms took part in the event.

Prior to the forum, ICCIMA former Head Gholam-Hossein Shafeie met with his Omani counterpart to discuss avenues of mutual cooperation between the two countries’ private sectors.

In this meeting, while emphasizing the need to remove trade obstacles, Shafeie said: “Attention should be paid to multilateral cooperation and joint investments so that the markets of the two countries can take advantage of each other’s business opportunities in any situation.”

Source : Tehrantimes