Experts agree that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s two-day-visit to Oman and Abu Dhabi carries a message about the security of Egypt and the Gulf; Egypt will not allow the Gulf to be harmed.
Sisi started his visit to Oman and Abu Dhabi on Sunday, which is Sisi’s first official visit to Oman since he took the power in 2014 and the first Egyptian presidential to visit to the country since January 25 revolution, confirming that Sisi seeks to promote the region’s security.
Professor of Political Science at the American University of Cairo Tarek Fahmy told Egypt Today that the visit carries a message about how Egypt will not allow Arab Gulf’s security to be compromised. He added that Egypt aims to benefit from the existing economic expertise in the Sultanate of Oman, to ensure economic coordination between the two states by establishing an economic zone, attracting new investments and enhancing tourism cooperation.
Furthermore, Specialist in Gulf Affairs Ayman Ramadan remarked that the visit assures Egyptian connection with Gulf States and Egyptian-Gulf relations in the current period, adding that Oman is one of the states in the Gulf cooperation council; hence, Egypt is working to form ties with it to understand its opinions on many different regional issues.
Ramadan added that Sisi’s visit aims to promote common cooperation and to discuss the recent developments in the Qatari crisis and the many different political challenges in the region. Consequently, he remarked, a complete plan should be set in progress to combat terrorism and Iranian intervention in the Arab region.
He pointed out that Egypt looks forward to exchanging trade, increasing Egyptian exports to Oman and activating economic agreements with it.
Talks between the two leaders addressed economic cooperation and trade deals through the mutual committee, which will hold a meeting in Muscat soon. It also tackled the recent issues in the region, where Sultan Qaboos reviewed his vision on solving the Yemeni crisis in a way that can ease the suffering of Yemeni people. The two leaders also discussed other regional issues in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.
The Egyptian president and his accompanying delegation will meet a number of Omani businessmen and investors to discuss increasing cooperation in different economic sectors, the official spokesperson of Egyptian Presidency, Bassam Radi, said.
The economic relationship and cooperation between the two countries comes as a part of the Great Arab Trade Agreement.
The Greater Arab Free Trade Area is an economic alliance between the Arab States for economic integration and low tariffs trade and began operation from the beginning of 2005.
The latest report from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) showed that the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and Oman witnessed a remarkable improvement during the first eight months of last year, recording $248 million, up from $162 million in the year before.
The volume of Egyptian exports to Oman increased to $117 million, during the period between January and August of 2017, compared to $91 million in the same period of 2016, according to the CAPMAS report.
Imports from Oman jumped to $131 million in the first eight months of 2017 compared to $71million during the corresponding period of 2016.
The volume of trade exchange between the two countries grew during the period from 2004 to 2008. The statistics indicated that in 2004, the volume of trade reached $37 million, while Egyptian imports from Oman amounted to $13 million.
In 2007, the volume of trade exchange amounted to $209 million, while Egyptian imports were worth $159million.
The volume of trade in 2008 was also $209 million, while the volume of Egyptian imports reached $194 million.