EghtesadOnline: Iran’s export to Oman stood at $203 million in the first two months of the current fiscal year (March 21-May 21), registering a 126% year-on-year growth, according to Iran’s commercial attaché in Oman.
Oman ranked seventh among the target countries for exports, fifth among neighboring countries and second among the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council’s members during the period, Mehrdad Fallah Orimi added.
Oil, bitumen, iron and steel ingots, urea, steel, cement and seafood were the main exported products from Iran to Oman, IRIB News quoted the official as saying.
“Oman’s share of Iran’s total exports stood at 2.4%. Bilateral trade grew 143% in terms of value compared with last year’s corresponding period,” he added.
In the last Iranian year (March 2021-22), according to the spokesperson of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, bilateral non-oil trade reached 4.19 million tons worth $1.33 billion, indicating a 27% and 53% increase in weight and value respectively, compared with the year before.
“We exported 2.28 million tons of goods worth $716 million. The figures show a 14% and 63% growth in weight and value respectively. Our main exported products included tar, urea, iron and steel products, fruit and vegetable and construction materials,” Rouhollah Latifi was also quoted as saying by ILNA.
Last year’s imports amounted to 1.9 million tons worth $619.5 million, indicating an increase of 49% and 43% in volume and value respectively.
“Our main imported products were corn, coal, raw edible vegetable oils, oilseeds, wheat, barley, industrial and road maintenance machinery, minerals, medical and dentistry equipment, paper and cardboard,” he said.
Raisi in Oman
Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi visited Oman last month, as the two countries signed a string of trade deals and as international talks on Tehran's nuclear program hang in the balance, leaving the Islamic Republic under sanctions, AFP reported.
Raisi, on his second Persian Gulf visit since taking office in August, was greeted by Sultan Haitham bin Tareq at the airport and received a 21-gun salute at the royal palace, an Omani statement said.
Raisi's one-day trip comes at a time when renewed talks on restoring a 2015 nuclear deal are at a stalemate. Oman played a mediating role between Tehran and Washington in the build-up to the original agreement.
The two countries signed eight memoranda of understanding during the visit, including in the fields of oil and gas, transport, education, trade and investment, reported the official Oman News Agency.
"Trade exchanges between Oman and Iran will improve definitely," Raisi said before departure, according to Iran's state news agency IRNA.
"Both countries are determined to upgrade the level of political and economic ties," he added.
A delegation of 50 Iranian businessmen travelled to Oman last week, IRNA said, adding that Iran's minister for roads and urban development has announced plans for a joint shipping line and tourist flights.
Oman is also seeking to import gas from Iran by building an offshore pipeline between the two countries, while also discussing the development of joint offshore gas fields.
The sultanate, which faces Iran across the Sea of Oman, endured economic pain during the pandemic, with its GDP dropping 6.4% in 2020 and government debt soaring. It saw rare protests over high unemployment and layoffs last year.
Raisi visited Qatar in February, where he met with Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and took part in a conference of gas exporting countries.
Stop-start talks to bring Iran back to the 2015 deal curbing its nuclear ambitions in return for a lifting of sanctions that was abandoned by the US in 2018, began in April last year.
Direct Flights Increase
Two Iranian airline, namely the flag carrier IranAir and Karun, have received permits from Oman Civil Aviation Authority to launch direct flights to the Sultanate.
The new flights will have Tehran and Shiraz as their departure and the Omani capital Muscat as destination, IRNA reported.
Until now, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines operated passenger flights between Iran and Oman.
It’s been 18 years since no Iranian airline has operated flights to Oman.
Now IranAir and Karun are scheduled to resume the flights soon.
Oman facilitated Iranians’ travel to the Sultanate in December by relaxing entry conditions for stays of up to 14 days. It has also reduced visa fees for travelers from more than 100 countries, including Iran, the United States, the UK, Australia, China and India.
Oman Airlines has been operating two flights a week, one flight to Tehran and one flight to Shiraz since January 21.