UPDATE : 2019.6.18 TUE 11:49
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Premier Lee visits Oman discusses way with Omani leaders to promote relations, cooperationIncluding a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of Oman

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon of the Republic of Korea visited Oman on July 23-25, 2018. On behalf of H.M. Sultan Qaboos bin Said, H.H. Sayyid Asa'ad bin Tariq Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs and Personal Representative of His Majesty the Sultan, received in his office Prime Minister Lee. The meeting exchanged cordial conversations and discussed aspects of the existing bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various fields of common concern. Lee also held meetings with other Oman officials to discuss bilateral relations and cooperation.

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (left) speaks with Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Asa'ad bin Tariq bin Taimur al Said of Oman for International Relations, during their meeting in Muscat on July 24.

Lee and his delegation attended the Omani-Korea Business Forum organized by the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its Korean counterpart KCCI, sought to introduce businessmen and businesswomen in the two countries to investment opportunities and trade exchange on both sides as well as enhancing communication, building business relations and exploring the possibility of strategic partnerships to increase investment and business activities between the two countries.

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (left) shakes hands with Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Asa'ad bin Tariq bin Taimur al Said of Oman.

During the forum, video presentations were screened on the current five-year plan and the possibilities offered by economic zones, free zones, ports and airports and complementary services. The investment opportunities were reviewed in promising economic sectors in the Sultanate, especially tourism, manufacturing, fisheries, logistics, auto parts industry, electronics industry, accessories, etc. The forum was attended by ministers, under-secretaries, officials and businessmen from both countries. Korean companies participating in the forum are specialized in the fields of engineering, construction, maritime trade, energy, heavy industry, telecommunications, and innovation among others.

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (left) talks with Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Asa'ad bin Tariq bin Taimur al Said of Oman for international relations, during their meeting in Muscat on July 24.

Prime Minister Lee, speaking at the Omani-Korean Business Forum, hailed the National Development Strategy adopted by Oman since the accession of H.M. Sultan Qaboos to the throne. He said the Sultanate is one of the exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Korea, which has helped the country diversify its economy. He said, the political stability witnessed by the Sultanate has come through the adoption of balanced diplomacy and economic diversification through five-year plans since 1976 followed by Oman 2020 Vision and Oman Vision 2040.

Prime Minister Lee speaks at a breakfast meeting with the Korean diaspora at Muscat

Lee pointed at the possibility of joint cooperation in the areas of information technology, smart cities, health, medical care, industries and fisheries in the future. Lee called upon businessmen of both countries to join hands and benefit from the investment and economic opportunities in the fields of petrochemicals, railways, solar power and smart cities as the Sultanate seeks to develop these areas and diversify its economy.

Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, described the Sultanate’s trade relations with South Korea as “old” as these relations focus on cooperation and partnership primarily in oil, gas, petrochemical and logistics sectors. He said the Sultanate is witnessing the implementation of new solar power projects with the help of Korea. Minister Sunaidy expressed hopes that the businessmen meeting of the two countries will move on to wider fields, especially in the area of knowledge economy. He said the transformation of the Special Economic Zone into a smart city will gain the Sultanate “new experiences” and open the doors to local and international companies, including Korean firms, as there may be similar initiatives for other economic projects in Suhar, Salalah, Sur and others under design/implementation such as Al Irfan City in Muscat and Logistics City ‘Khazaen’ in South Al Batinah.

Prime Minister Lee walks with Omani leaders at one of the cultural heritage in the country.

Chairman Qais bin Mohammed al Yousuf of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) said: “Statistics indicate that the trade exchange between the two countries reached RO 1 billion by the end of 2017. Omani imports from Korea represent RO 225 million and Omani exports RO 844 million.”

During the business forum, both Oman and Korea signed an MoU for cooperation between the two sides in the field of smart cities. The signing of the memorandum was part of the one-day Omani-Korean Business Forum, aimed at coming up with a study on the importance of factors, projects, and investment areas in the smart cities sector in the Special Economic Zone in Duqm (SEZD).

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon arrived in the Sultanate on Monday night for an official three-day visit.

The memorandum was signed by Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy and Vice Minister Son Byong Suk of Land and Infrastructure of Korea. This MoU comes within the framework of the factors needed by the economic zones, such as SEZD by establishing these Smart Cities.

On the other side, Port of Duqm and Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD) along with other stakeholders of Duqm region, including Oman Dry Dock and Duqm Refinery, have successfully concluded a roadshow in Korea in cooperation with the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in Seoul and KCCI.

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yun (standing) speaks at an informal breakfast with Korean businessmen accompanying him to Oman at Grand Hyatt Seoul on July 25, 2018.

The objective of this roadshow was to confirm the excellent relations between Oman and Korea and attract Korean participation to the Duqm project in many ways. The Team also visited Incheon Free Economic Zone to study more about the impressive achievements and practices there.

Prime Minister Lee addresses at a dinner meeting with Korean residents in Oman on July 24, 2018.

Ambassador Mohammed al Harthy of Oman in Seoul said: The visit of the Korean prime minister and accompanying delegation beside the business forum held in Oman and the investment forum which was held in Seoul come within the framework of strengthening relations between the two friendly countries and enhancing areas of cooperation, expansion and deepening of broader horizons covering various sectors and fields, including logistics, industries, health, medical care, tourism, education, research, development and innovation.

Kim Sua  edt@koreapost.com

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