oil and gas

Oman-Saudi petrochemicals joint venture under study

September 5, 2021

A study is under-way to assess the feasibility of establishing a joint venture between Omani and Saudi investors specializing in petrochemicals and chemicals, according to Nasser bin Saeed al Hajri (pictured), head of the Saudi side of the Omani-Saudi Business Council.

Provisionally named ‘Gulf Company’, the proposed JV is backed by a Saudi investor who is keen in invest in basic petrochemical industries, manufacturing, specialty chemicals, mining industries, food and marble industries, logistics, fish farming and investment in tourism and real estate sectors, Al Hajri told Oman News Agency.

“The Saudi investor has a sincere desire to invest in Oman provided that there is development and improvement of legislation, regulations and easy investment procedures and better incentives and facilities, in addition to support from the Saudi side in the form of government financing and easy access to loans.”

The official said the recent visit of the Saudi delegation to Oman was a timely opportunity to get acquainted with the industrial cities, special economic zones and free zones operating in the Sultanate. He lauded the progress made in the establishment of a major SEZ at Duqm.

Meanwhile, a number of Saudi businessmen and investors have described Oman as a promising investment destination, notably in tourism, fisheries, oil and industrial sectors.

Yasser bin Abdulaziz al Masfar, Senior Communications Advisor at Al Olain Financial, said Oman abounds with investment avenues, particularly in the oil and gas and clean energy sectors.

Saad bin Abdullah al Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al Khalifa Group, said there is convergence in the visions of Oman and Saudi Arabia, as well as serious interest in pursuing close integration and cooperation between the two countries. The various investment systems and opportunities available to both sides essentially treat investors as citizens, he said.

Promising investment sectors include tourism, fisheries and the oil sector, said Al Khalifa, adding that the Group is keen to sign a number of agreements with Omani companies in the near future.

The upbeat outlook for enhanced trade and investment ties between the two countries follows last week’s successful visit by a high-level Saudi delegation to the Sultanate led by Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister, Khalid al Falih.

During the three-day , the guests visited a number of industrial cities, free zones and special economic zones in the Sultanate, and held several high-level meetings and B2B sessions with Omani corporate leadings. A number of agreements were also signed by Saudi and Omani companies on the sidelines of an investment forum organised on the occasion.

Bilateral trade between Oman and Saudi Arabia nearly doubled over the past decade to reach RO 960 million at the end of 2020, up from RO 506 million in 2010. Of the total for 2020, Oman’s exported RO 548 million worth of commodities and goods to Saudi Arabia against RO 411 million worth of imports from the latter.

According to Oman’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, as many as 1,235 Saudi companies are currently operating in the Sultanate, up from 467 in 2010. Saudi investment in the Sultanate mainly focuses on trade, construction and services.

Significantly, Saudi Arabia is also a strategic partner in a number of economic projects established in the Sultanate.

The list includes Khazaen Economic City, Salalah-2 Independent Power Project, Salalah Independent Water Project, United Power Company (Manah IPP), Ibri-II solar-powered IPP, and Saudi Fund for Development.

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