*Doha set to see establishment of JV water bottling plant
Joint investments between Qatar and Oman have reached more than QR5.5bn and Doha will soon see the establishment of a water bottling plant in a joint venture.
“The joint investments between Qatar and Oman have increased over time, so did trade exchange. In fact, the value of joint investments was estimated at more than QR5.5bn, including Omani investments in Qatar worth QR427mn," Youssef al-Emadi, director of the Industrial Zones Department at the Ministry of Energy and Industry, told a meeting in Doha on behalf of HE the Energy and Industry Minister Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada.
These investments included import of food products and construction materials to Qatar. In addition, businesspersons from the two countries discussed plans to establish factories in Qatar, notably a water bottling plant that will start manufacturing soon, al-Emadi told the Qatari-Oman Joint Entrepreneurs Meeting, organised by the Gulf Organisation for the Industrial Consulting (Goic).
Highlighting that the Qatari investments in Oman were in the fields of telecommunications, electricity, cars assembly, food products and tourism, he projected an increase in trade value between the two countries with the increasing imports from Oman.
He said the trade exchange doubled since the inauguration of the two direct sea routes between Hamad Port and Sohar and Salalah ports in Oman.
“We therefore think that good days are coming. In fact, these mutual meetings and visits between businesspeople from the two countries reflect high level of productive co-operation and determination to stimulate the Gulf economy,” al-Emadi said.
Quoting a report on private sector foreign trade, published by the Qatar Chamber, he said Oman was ranked first among the countries importing non-oil from Qatar in June 2017, and it valued at QR297mn, or 37%, of the total non-oil exports of Qatar's foreign trade during the review period.
“Qatari private sector investments in Oman were valued at QR727mn, including investments in 148 companies, while Qatari government investments in Oman were valued at more than $4bn," he said.
There are also 115 Omani businesses investing in fully-owned companies in Qatar, and 106 joint Qatari-Omani companies with a total capital of about QR427.4mn, al-Emadi added.
Finding that the trade exchange between Qatar and Oman have vaulted with experts expecting bilateral trade to reach QR6bn, particularly owing to growing Omani exports to Qatar in food products, building materials and other primary materials; Shamlan H O al-Jeheidli, Goic assistant secretary general (Industrial Information and Studies), said there is a dire need to strengthen co-operation and promote industrial and commercial partnerships to contribute to economic development in the two countries.