Muscat: The recent landmark visit of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Sultanate of Oman and the multiple bilateral agreements signed during the visit is expected to spur economic growth, according to leading Omani economists and businessmen.

The economic experts and businessmen were unanimous in their views of the visit of the UAE President making a positive economic impact. His Excellency Eng. Rida bin Juma Al Saleh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), praised the positive results that emerged out after the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Sultanate.

H E Al Saleh said: “The Sultanate and the UAE have had commercial relations since ancient times. These relations have contributed to developing strong cooperation and building relations between the business sectors of the two brotherly countries.”

He added that the ‘signing of 12 MoUs and four cooperation agreements in various fields’ confirms the desire between the two neighbours to enhance trade, economic and investment cooperation.

“These agreements will revitalise the bilateral trade in various sectors and will contribute to the national development,” said H E Al Saleh. The OCCI top boss said: “Undoubtedly, this visit embodies the existing cooperation to establish partnerships and commercial and investment project. It will enhance exchange cooperation in various fields and sectors of interest between the brotherly countries. The positive results are an outcome of the firm steps taken by the Sultanate and the sisterly Emirates towards achieving success for the goals drawn by the cooperation map of the two brotherly countries.”

In his remarks to Times of Oman, Dr Mohammed Al Wardi, an academic and economic analyst, said: “The UAE is the largest (non-oil) trading and investment partner of the Sultanate. The volume of trade between them stood at OMR5.5 billion, while mutual investments stood at OMR1.5 billion.”

He added: “Promoting economic integration will be in the interest of the two countries to reflect the unity of geography, history and a common destiny.”

Reflecting on the visit of the UAE President, a leading Omani businessman, Sheikh Taher bin Mabkhout Al Junaibi, said: “Such visits between leaders always pave the way for strengthening relations and creating partnerships at various levels and in different fields.

“It strengthens the ties between the two brotherly nations and among the people of both the countries. The large interest among people about the visit reflected the deep desire and the successful conclusion of the visit.

“The signing of 12 MoUs and four cooperation agreements dealing in various economic and strategic sectors was welcomed by one and all. The aspirations of the brotherly peoples are to achieve more integration and cooperation.”

Al-Junaibi added: “As a businessman, I see that trade and industry cooperation between the two countries will develop, especially due to the proximity of the two countries. The passenger and freight train project will link the two countries and will have a positive impact. It will be reflected in easy facilitation of the movement of passengers and goods”

“We thank the wise leaderships of the two countries, the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates, for what they have achieved. There are many areas in which cooperation can be enhanced further to serve the two brotherly countries,” he said.

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