Domestic Economy

Iran, Oman to Sign Shipping Pact

Iran, Oman to Sign Shipping Pact  Iran, Oman to Sign Shipping Pact

Iran and Oman are planning to establish a shipping line to facilitate maritime trade between the two countries, said Ali Akbar Sibeveih, Iranian ambassador to the sultanate.

"Discussions for the establishment of the shipping line started six months ago and an agreement is expected to be signed in three months," Sibeveih told Times of Oman on Monday.

He said that the shipping line would be operating between four Omani ports — Sohar, Sultan Qaboos, Musandam, and Shinas — and the Iranian ports of Chabahar, Bandar Abbas, Bandar Imam Khomeini, and another unnamed port.

According to Sibeveih, a number of visits between Iranian and Omani officials will take place by April 2015 with the aim of strengthening trade ties.

Earlier, Omani Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy urged further interaction between the two sides to explore investment opportunities.

Commenting on the trade between Khasab and the Iranian island of Qeshm, the minister said, "It is a traditional trade and will hopefully be more regulated in the future, especially after the issue of sanctions against Iran is resolved."

"We hope to expand the port of Khasab in the next five years and as we add more facilities and Iran gets out of some of its sanctions, the trade will be more regulated," Al Sunaidy said.

Tehran is in the middle of key nuclear negotiations with the so-called P5+1 group, to address international concerns about its nuclear energy program in exchange for western countries lifting sanctions against Iran's economy.

Transit Corridor

Commenting on the planned transit corridor that will run from Uzbekistan across Turkmenistan and then to Oman via Iran, he said that the project will help significantly boost trade between these countries and will enhance their trade ties with other neighboring nations.

The draft plan will soon be submitted to transportation and foreign ministers of the four countries, he said. The establishment of the corridor will facilitate transit of goods between the four countries and even to Turkey, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.

In early August, foreign ministers of Oman, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan held a meeting in Muscat as part of their continuing negotiations to further develop economic relations through establishment of a transit corridor.

The four foreign ministers signed a memorandum of understanding for the Ashgabat Agreement on establishment of the transit corridor.