CNA | 10 December 2007
Singapore, Oman agree to boost bilateral investments
By Margaret Perry, Channel NewsAsia
SINGAPORE: Singapore and Oman signed an agreement on Monday to boost bilateral investments.
The signing was witnessed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the visiting Oman Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Fahad Mahmood Al-Said, who was given an official welcome at the Istana.
The deputy prime minister is here on a four-day visit with a high-level delegation of ministers, senior officials and businessmen.
Mr Sayyid Fahad called on President S R Nathan before meeting his host, PM Lee.
Bilateral trade between Singapore and Oman reached S$520 million in 2006.
The Investment Guarantee Agreement between the two countries is expected to boost this further and give businesses greater confidence and protection when investing.
It will also help in the free trade agreement talks between Singapore and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Oman’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Maqbool Ali Sultan said: "The GCC-Singapore Free Trade Agreement is a very important agreement and we hope that the negotiating teams will finish their negotiations this year and sign it in 2008."
The Middle East Business Group also held a networking lunch for the Oman delegation to help business leaders make contacts.
Minister of State for Trade & Industry S Iswaran said: "It’s an opportunity to establish more connectivity at the people level and at the business level. I think our businesses need to get more familiar with Oman, understand the opportunities there - not just within the country but also using Oman as a base with which to look at opportunities in the wider GCC area."
Besides improving future ties between Singapore and Oman, plans are also underway to commemorate the historic links between the two countries.
As Muscat Street in Kampong Glam shares its name with the capital city of Oman, the two countries have agreed in principle to upgrade the street to give it a "Muscat flavour", similar to those in Oman.