EghtesadOnline: Representatives of Iran’s private sector met with Omani officials in Muscat and surveyed ways of expanding bilateral cooperation in a host of fields, including banking, joint investments, techno-engineering services, fisheries and information technology.
The Iranian delegation was headed by Chairman of Iran-Oman Chamber of Commerce Mohsen Zarrabi, who was accompanied by Chairman of Ahvaz Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture Shahla Amouri and the head of Bandar Abbas Chamber of Commerce, Mohammad Amin Sabbaghi, Chamber's website reported on Saturday.
During a meeting with Oman’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Masoud Ali al-Sunaidy, Zarrabi requested permission to use Omani ports for transshipment of Iranian transit goods.
The two sides also evaluated the advantages and capacities of Salalah Port and Free Zone to serve Iran-Oman commercial interactions, according to Financial Tribune.
> Exclusive Omani Facilities for Iranian Vessels
Zarrabi announced last month that small-sized Iranian ships will now enjoy exclusive facilities at Al Suwaiq Port in northeast Oman.
After three years of negotiations, Al Suwaiq Port allowed early September its exclusive facilities to Iranian ships of less than 1,000 tons carrying food, agricultural products and construction materials to the neighboring country.
According to Abbas Abdolkhani, Iran’s commercial attaché to Oman, the proximity of Al Suwaiq Port to Iran’s ports of Jask and Bandar Abbas, as well as Oman’s Muscat and Al Khazain, would reduce trade costs between the two countries.
"Iranian traders would no longer need to send fruits and vegetables to the UAE’s Port of Sharjah for reexportation to Oman," he was quoted as saying by the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran's news outlet.
The Iranian delegation and their counterparts in Oman agreed during the recent visit that collaboration and talks involving their joint chamber of commerce, Iran’s Embassy in Muscat and Omani government officials continue until agreements are reached and problems hampering bilateral ties are fully eliminated.
> Increasing Seafood Exports From Iran
In a separate meeting with undersecretary for fisheries wealth with Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hamed Said al-Oufi, the two sides explored the possibility of increasing seafood exports from Iran to Oman with the help of their private sectors.
“Iran is very competent in the field of fisheries. We can supply Oman’s market for such products and even use that market to export our products to other regional countries,” Zarrabi said.
The official said Omani companies can invest in seafood production in Iran with the aim of exporting the products to third countries.
Al-Oufi attested to Iran’s capabilities in the field of fisheries and expressed Oman’s readiness for cooperation in the field and reexports of Iranian seafood through Oman.
Zarrabi said al-Oufi will pay a visit to Iran within the next two months. He called for a fisheries forum to be held during the stay where officials, producers and businesspeople from the two countries can become familiar with each other’s capabilities and products, and engage in B2B meetings. Al-Oufi welcomed the proposal.
> Bilateral Trade Doubles
Iran traded 1.53 million tons of non-oil commodities worth more than $762.64 million with Oman during the first half of the current fiscal year (March 21-Sept. 22), registering a 35.83% and 100.95% growth in weight and value respectively compared with the corresponding period of last year, latest data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show.
Iran’s exports to Oman stood at 1.21 million tons worth close to $443.92 million, up 15.71% and 52.08% in volume and value respectively year-on-year. This southern neighbor was Iran’s 10th major export destination during the period.
Iran mainly exported natural gas, hydrocarbons and steel products to Oman during the six-month period.
Oman exported 322,690 tons of goods worth $318.72 million to Iran, showing a 291.5% and 263.72% surge in tonnage and value respectively compared with the similar period of last year. Oman was the 14th exporter of goods to Iran over the five months.
The imports mainly included vehicles, dietary supplements and field corn.