Times of Oman - 07/02/2007
US reaffirms commitment on FTA with Oman
(MENAFN - Times of Oman) MUSCAT - The United States yesterday reaffirmed its commitment for expanding trade ties between the two nations and implementing the free trade agreement (FTA) as early as possible.
Visiting US deputy secretary at the US Department of Commerce David A. Sampson expressed satisfaction with the great progress the US and Oman have made in advancing the strategic partnership to expand trade ties and implement the free trade agreement.
Oman government and the Omani businessmen are keen to implement the FTA at the earliest. Sampson said his visit was aimed at evaluating the progress on the implementation of the FTA between the two countries.
"The visit is part of our endeavours to know what we have to do more to push things ahead.
"I’ sure that this visit will further boost the cooperation between the two countries," Sampson told the Al Shabiba / Times of Oman.
"The strategic ties between the two countries dates back to more than hundred years - since signing the first Maritime Agreement between the two countries in 1832," he said.
Sampson said that his meeting with Oman’s deputy prime minister was an excellent opportunity for him to express his appreciation on Oman’s impressive economic growth and the development that the nation achieved in its political and social arena in the last 36 years.
On the FTA, he said that the negotiations between the US and Oman concluded in four tours "sessions", adding that only legal and legislative requirements were yet to be completed for implementing the provisions of the FTA, which were already agreed upon during the negotiations.
"I had expressed to His Highness our deep commitment to boosting commercial and economic relations between the two countries. Our meeting was positive and reflected the deep-rooted historical relations between the US and Oman.
The US has no reservations on security procedures applicable at Omani seaports on consignments from the Omani seaport to the US. Regarding trade, he said, the volume of trade between the two countries reached $1.7 billion in 2006.
As the department’s chief operating officer Sampson manages a $6.5 billion budget and 38,000 employees in 13 operating units.
He is also a member of President Bush’s Management Council and a member of the board of directors for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.