Economy, Domestic Economy

Direct Shipping Line Planned With Oman

Direct Shipping Line  Planned With OmanDirect Shipping Line  Planned With Oman

Talks are underway between the Iranian and Omani delegates for launching a direct shipping line between the two countries; IRNA reported, citing the Muscat-based daily Al-Zaman.

“Iran will take all the necessary measures to facilitate trade activities between the two countries and boost the level of investments by both Iranian and Omani businessmen,” said the Chairman of Iran-Oman Chamber of Commerce, Mohsen Zarrabi in a meeting with his Omani counterpart.

Chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Saleh Al-Kiomi, for his part, said the launch of a direct shipping line would help increase the level of trade exchange between the two countries and provide an effective means for "re-exporting Iranian goods to other countries.”

He further said that "Oman is ready to grant 3-month visas to Iranian businessmen," to facilitate trade activities with Iran.  

Experts are already predicting that following the launch of the new shipping service, Oman will become a hub for re-exporting Iranian goods to other countries in the region, hence replacing the UAE as Iran's second largest trade partner after China.

Earlier this month, Zarrabi told IRNA that launching a direct shipping line was high on the Iranian and Omani governments' agenda, announcing that maritime trade between Oman’s Sohar port and Iran’s Bandar Abbas port will begin by March.

In October 2014, Iran and Oman signed six memoranda of understanding (MoU's) to boost commercial ties. Oman was the 21st importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the previous Iranian year, which ended March 20, 2014, according to data provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA). Iran exported $145.8 million of non-oil goods to Oman last year and imported $441.7 million of non-oil goods from the Arab country.

The National Ferries Company of Oman is also planning to connect the port of Khasab in the Musandam Governorate of Oman with the Iranian ports by establishing a fast ferry service. The plan got a boost as the foreign ministers of Oman, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan signed an MoU for the establishment of the International Transport and Transit Corridor among the state parties (known as the Ashgabat Agreement) in Muscat in August 2014.

Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Oman’s minister of foreign affairs announced after the meeting that signatories to the agreement are "looking forward to ensure that the international corridor becomes operational by 2015."