KARACHI: Consul General of Oman Sami Abdullah Salim AlKhanjari has said that Pakistan is lacking in Oman in terms of investment despite closer relations.

Oman has five ports namely Salalah, Qalhat, Sohar, Duqm and Sultan Qaboos which are the best in the Gulf region where investors from China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, India and many other countries have made substantial investments, he said.

“Saudi Arabia alone has invested more than $1 billion while another $1bn is also on its way. India, which is a little far from Oman as compared to Pakistan, is also making good investments in Oman but Pakistan is not there, despite being closer to us,” he said during a meeting with the members of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Saturday.

Expressing sheer dissatisfaction over very limited trade between the two countries, he said although there was potential to enhance trade, no significant trade was taking place despite being very close to each other.

Pakistan has been exporting rice, mangoes and potatoes only to Oman but what about onions, chillies, carrots, lemons and other agricultural products which can quickly reach Oman in a fresh state but, unfortunately, Pakistan is nowhere in exporting all such and many other products to Oman which are being arrived in Oman from far-flung countries including China, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Ethiopia and Somalia etc.

According to KCCI’s press release, Omani CG advised the business community of Karachi to look into the possibility of exporting more fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products to Oman to improve existing trade volume.

Pakistani rice being exported to Oman is one the best in the world and its exports need to be enhanced further. Oman not only needs frozen meat but also live meat, he added.

Pakistan’s textile and leather products including towels and garments etc. hold good potential but these are also not being exported to Oman.

“Why are we unable to improve trade? If it is a visa issue, we are dealing with it”, he said, adding that a study was currently underway for introducing ‘One Visa’ for all GCC countries which is going to be similar to Schengen visa but there are some security issues which would be resolved and ‘One Visa’ facility will be launched very soon.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2023

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