The Omani-Saudi Joint Committee has signed a RO20 million ($51.9 million) financing agreement with Oman Development Bank (ODB) to support SMEs and Microenterprises in the sultanate.

The financing agreement will aid objectives laid out by ODB to provide soft loans for development projects across various sectors, reported the Oman News Agency.

The bank’s loans would also benefit small self-employed investors and artisans.

ODB further stated, the agreement also contributes to support its objectives by providing employment opportunities for Omani citizens through the expansion of the bank’s lending portfolio.

The Omani-Saudi Joint Committee was formed following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Oman’s Ministry of Finance and the Saudi Fund for Development (SDF) in February 2022.

In January, the two entities announced the committee would finance the infrastructure development project of the Special Economic Zone in Ad Dhahirah, Oman, worth SAR 1.2 billion. In addition to enhancing cooperation between the two countries, the agreement would promote trade, boost economic partnerships, devise new industrial solutions, and promote sustainable economic growth. The cooperation would also reduce the production and export costs between and across the two nations.

This partnership stems from goals set by the Oman Vision 2040 and Saudi Vision 2030, which encompass a huge volume of investment opportunities that collectively constitute a springboard for economic diversification, according to the Oman News Agency.

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)