Oman National Bank Chairman Praises Oman’s Economic Development

Chairman of the National Bank of Oman Mohammed Mafoodh al-Ardhi had praised the efforts of the government for meeting the public and private sector demands and ensuring the growth of the government’s short and long-term goals. He also provides the government advice to improve its services.

Al-Ardhi noted that Oman’s ports are the symbol of the country’s increasing wealth. The ports of Salalah, Sohar and Muscat have been remodelled for modern ships and freighters.

Salalah is the world’s most active port for container transport. Sohar is specifically designed to ease goods shipment processes to areas outside of the Oman capital. The Port of Muscat is a tourist destination that also doubles as a supplementary port decongestion resource for possible circumstances.

Al-Ardhi also said that foreign investors are welcoming the Omani investment climate with its sufficient incentives. However, he said that despite the incentives, it will still not be enough to turn the investment system into higher competitiveness. Investors are looking for new locations to keep themselves safe from failing caital markets.

He recommends that several investor laws, including land utilisation, pollution law and banking, be revised. He also prompted the government to provide a single investment service centre to help expand the number of investors inside the country and distribute it to different business centres all at once.


Oman and Iran Reach Gas Deal MOU for 25 Years

Oman and Iran had sealed a $60 billion gas agreement that would allow Muscat to purchase natural gas from Tehran for 25 years. The two countries are to build gas pipelines in two years. The subsea gas pipeline will guarantee Oman 20 million cubic meters of gas from Iran.

Oman first agreed to purchase natural gas from Iran in 2005, but due to western sanctions regarding Iran’s nuclear activity, Oman was forced to purchase gas from other countries such as Qatar and Pakistan at the US’ prescription.

Omani Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy and Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanageh had signed a Memorandum of Understanding last year. Oman has closer ties with Iran than any other Arabian country who perceive Iran’s nuclear activities as a national security threat.

Pakistan’s failure to deliver oil and the increasing prices of oil from Qatar had urged Oman to take advantage of the lifted sanctions the UN had granted to Iran after it agreed to scale down its nuclear activities last year. Oman’s increasing energy needs has led it to close a deal with Iran

Meanwhile, Pakistan also eyes Iran to provide for its natural gas needs and Pakistani and Iranian officials are expected to meet next month to discuss proposals for a natural gas deal between the two countries.