January 14, 2014 BY OMAN OBSERVER

MUSCAT — The deliberations of the 2nd session of the Joint Omani-Vietnamese Committee concluded yesterday. Both sides agreed on enhancing economic cooperation by diversifying the traded goods and exchanging trade delegations and experts to explore possible business opportunities in both friendly countries. In a statement to Oman News Agency, Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Omani side in the Committee, said the committee started focusing on the investment side by increasing the size and the investment opportunities, as the State Reserve Fund of the Sultanate has good investments in Vietnam, especially in the healthcare sector. The trend is to increase investments in the coming period in the foodstuff sector.

He added that the Omani side applied to expand purchases in the strategic sectors in Vietnam, especially the foodstuff. It also explores investment opportunities in the fishing sector. Al Sunaidy said that both sides discussed the possibility of benefiting from the Vietnamese experience in the field of fish and shrimp farming. He pointed out that a number of experts will visit the Sultanate in the coming period to discuss fish and shrimp farming. He also pointed out that the trade exchange with Vietnam is still limited and that both sides will discuss operating a marine shipping route as the first step to have direct routes. Both sides also agreed on enhancing trade delegations exchange.

He added that the Vietnamese market is one of the potential markets for the Omani industries. ‘Vietnam is also one of the paper industry materials and wood exporters, therefore I call upon investors in both countries to show more interest in this area’, he said. He also said that the Vietnamese side desires to have direct shipping route and use the Sultanate’s ports for re-distribution of the goods sourced from Vietnam to the region. The minutes was signed from the Omani side by Al Sunaidy, while Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade in Vietnam and Chairman of the Vietnamese side in the Committee, signed for his country. On trade field, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation and create direct communication links between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in the Sultanate and the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Vietnam, as well as between Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In the field of investments and statistics, both sides expressed their satisfaction over the initial results obtained in the business activities of the Vietnamese-Omani Investment Joint Stock Company (VOI) during the past two years. VOI has invested around $51 million in banking, hydropower, infrastructure and healthcare sectors. They agreed to continue giving support to the company in the coming period. In the field of oil and gas, both sides agreed to encourage and support direct communication channels and to share information on potential investment projects, especially in upstream, downstream, power generation, metals and in-country values. In the field of finance and banking, both sides agreed to further strengthen exchange of information on banking and financial markets, legislations document, practices and customs between the two countries. In the field of agriculture, both sides agreed to enhance the exchange of delegation and experts for identifying possibilities for cooperation. In the field of labour, both sides agreed to push up the full implementation of the MoU on cooperation signed in 2007 and facilitate Vietnamese labour suppliers to send more labourers in the areas of healthcare, construction, mechanics, maintenance services etc.

The signing ceremony was attended by Shaikh Sultan bin Saif al Mahrouqi, the Sultanate’s accredited Ambassador to Vietnam, Abdul Salam bin Mohammed al Murshidi, CEO of the State General Reserve Fund, a number of directors general from the public and private sectors and members of the Vietnamese delegation.  — ONA

Source: omanobserver.om