Oman, UK ink pact to boost trade relations

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The Sultanate of Oman and the United Kingdom have agreed to bolster the relations and high-value investment volume between the two countries, reported the Oman News Agency (ONA)…reports Asian Lite News

To this effect, an agreement of partnership was signed in London between the Oman Investment Authority and the British Office for Investment.

The trade volume between the two countries reached GBP 1 billion annually.

Moreover, direct British investments comprise 50 percent of the foreign investments volume in the Sultanate of Oman over the past years, ONA stated.

The agreement of partnership aims to invest in specific fields, namely clean energy and information technology.

Furthermore, the agreement is expected to contribute to the establishment of economic projects in Oman, including ones in the fields of construction, industry and services.

UK Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone said:Oman is a long-standing and strategic partner in the Middle East and I am pleased that the UK is further deepening our investment relationship.

“Our two countries share a vision for a sustainable and prosperous future. This Sovereign Investment Partnership ensures our respective private sectors and international investors are part of that journey.”

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Foreign Minister of Oman Sayyid Badr Albusaidi said: “The signing of the MOU is in line with the aspirations of both Oman and the UK as set in the Comprehensive Agreement on Enduring Friendship and Bilateral Cooperation.

“We truly believe that by focusing our efforts on strategic joint investments, we will be able to reach further fruitful and tangible outcomes, in support of our mutual desire to continue developing a dynamic and stronger partnership.”

President of Oman Investment Authority H.E Abdulsalam Al Murshidi said: “This partnership is a perfect embodiment of OIA’s mandate under Vision Oman 2040, especially for financial sustainability and attracting foreign investors who consider OIA their partner in potential investment

UK companies have a long history of investment in Oman, with Foreign Direct Investments from the UK accounting for nearly 50% of the foreign investment into Oman in recent years.”

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As a sign of this growing partnership, UK waste-to-energy pioneer Green Fuels has formed Wakud, a joint venture with an Omani consortium which has invested over $2 million into its Oman-based operations since breaking ground in 2021.

Wakud’s first biorefinery at Khazaen Economic City in Oman can process up to 20 tonnes of used cooking oil per day which is collected from restaurants and food processing establishments and made into European standard biodiesel for local consumption and for export to the UK and EU. Later this year, the plant is set to become the first solar-powered biodiesel plant in the world. Wakud has already created new jobs in Oman and the company has plans to expand operations into the wider GCC region in 2022.

It comes as the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which Oman is a member, prepare to formally launch talks over a new Free Trade Agreement. Negotiations are expected to commence this year, with a future deal set to boost links in areas like investment and services.

The signing of the MoU coincided with a meeting of the UK-Oman Strategic Advisory Group, chaired by Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone.