Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman participated in the inaugural Gulf-China Industrial and Investment Cooperation Forum, which was held in Xiamen, China, during May 23 - 24, 2024. Led by Dr Saleh bin Saeed Masan, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, the Omani delegation actively participated in discussions aimed at strengthening industrial and investment ties between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and China.

This forum follows the Xiamen Ministerial Initiative, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the first China-Gulf Summit in December 2022. The initiative proposes a dedicated China-GCC forum to bolster industrial and investment cooperation. Discussions at the forum centered on establishing this new platform and exploring joint ventures and projects that could solidify the economic partnership between the two regions.

Dr Masan emphasized the importance of the forum in fostering stronger economic ties, particularly in trade, investment, knowledge sharing, and technical cooperation. He highlighted the potential for collaboration in green industries and renewable energy, areas where China boasts significant expertise.

Oman and China already enjoy a robust trade relationship, with bilateral trade exceeding $30 billion in 2023. Omani exports, primarily oil, gas, and petrochemicals, accounted for over $24 billion, while imports from China, including cars, electronics, and machinery, reached $2.82 billion. Furthermore, Chinese direct investments in Oman surged by 27.8% in 2023, reaching $3.45 billion, with projects concentrated in energy, infrastructure, and commercial development.

Beyond the forum, Dr Masan met with representatives of clean energy companies. He expressed interest in their expertise and extended an invitation to explore investment and partnership opportunities in Oman.

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