Oman Seeks to Expand Imports from Pakistan

Oman Seeks to Expand Imports from Pakistan – The Consul General of the Sultanate of Oman, Eng. Sami Abdullah Al Khanjari, announced Oman’s intent to broaden its import spectrum from Pakistan, focusing on the high-quality agricultural products Pakistan offers.

Speaking at a meeting hosted by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) on Wednesday, Al Khanjari emphasized Oman’s reliance on Pakistan for 60% of its rice imports due to its superior quality. He expressed a desire to increase this percentage and encouraged Karachi’s business community to consider exporting onions and other agricultural products such as potatoes, lentils, and mangoes to Oman, addressing the current shortage of onions in Oman.

“Oman has been importing rice from Pakistan since 1982, and we highly appreciate Pakistan for providing the best quality rice. However, we would like to see more Pakistani products in Oman, including sugar, textiles, towels, and other high-quality items, which are currently being sourced from Türkiye, China, India, and Australia,” Al Khanjari stated.

The Omani delegation to KCCI included Vice Consul General Abdullah Jumah Al Harbi and officials from the Omani Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Water Resources, such as Assistant Director General for Food Security Hassan Matar Al Balushi, Director of the Food Security Department Ibrahim Mubarak Al Hosni, and Head of the Marketing and Quality Department Salim Said Al Washahi. The meeting was also attended by prominent KCCI members, including President Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh and Senior Vice President Altaf A. Ghaffar.

Al Khanjari praised KCCI for facilitating the Omani officials’ visit, which included meetings with the Governor of Sindh and the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), as well as tours of Port Qasim, laboratories, and various companies. He encouraged the Karachi business community to identify and address any trade obstacles with Oman to enhance bilateral trade. He also advocated for regular expos in both countries to foster mutual understanding and trade exploration.

The Omani officials extended an invitation to Pakistani business leaders to visit Oman to explore trade expansion opportunities, not only within Oman but also leveraging the facilities for exporting to African countries. They expressed an interest in making annual visits to Pakistan to stay updated on potential export products.

KCCI President Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh highlighted the historical and cultural ties between Pakistan and Oman, noting that Pakistan’s exports to Oman totaled approximately $166 million in the first nine months of FY24, compared to $193 million in the previous year. He emphasized the need to reduce trade barriers, diversify products, and promote business collaboration to enhance trade volume and economic integration.

Sheikh suggested that importing LNG and petroleum products from Oman at discounted rates could help address Pakistan’s energy challenges. He also pointed out the investment opportunities in Pakistan’s coastal ecosystem and Special Economic Zones in Karachi and Gwadar, particularly under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Highlighting the $1 billion remitted by Pakistani expatriates in Oman in FY23, Sheikh stressed the importance of training and deploying skilled workers to Oman. This, he argued, would benefit both economies and deepen bilateral ties. He concluded by underscoring the need for people-to-people contacts, trade delegations, and participation in each other’s trade fairs to strengthen economic ties and boost bilateral trade.