Officials of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have praised the efforts made by the sultanate in promoting world trade and its pivotal role in the organisation at all levels. This, even as the sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of its accession to the WTO.
The organisation’s officials emphasised Oman is a supportive partner in its activities, with a long history in global trade. The sultanate’s global trade legacy is being employed with high efficiency through its membership and role as a supportive partner in the WTO.
The sultanate is always keen to support other members and Sultan Qaboos University was awarded the WTO Chair programme in 2014.
WTO officials pointed out that the sultanate has used its experience in joining the WTO to support other governments that are in the process of joining the organisation.
The sultanate’s agreements to combat harmful commercial practices have given Omani companies the right to protect their local products in case they are exposed to this type of action. These agreements contributed to boosting foreign investment flows to the sultanate over the past 20 years. The foreign direct investment flow into Oman reached RO15.064bn at the end of the first quarter of 2020, according to National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) data.
WTO’s deputy director general Alan Wolff emphasised the depth of trade and civilisational relations between the sultanate and other countries of the world, considering Oman as a reliable and supportive partner of WTO, and appreciated its role in disseminating and adopting leading international academic research.
“We are fortunate that the sultanate is a member of the WTO for various reasons, in particular its long history in global trade,” he stated.
“While the WTO celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, the sultanate’s history in world trade is 100 times older than that,” he added.
Peter Allgeier, former US deputy trade representative to WTO, said, “The WTO has benefited from the constructive participation of the sultanate, and we are looking forward to its continuous contributions at a time when the organisation seeks to address many challenges facing the global trading system.”
Hilda bin Ali al Hinai, director of Oman’s office at WTO in Geneva, emphasised the multiple benefits and advantages of the sultanate’s accession to the WTO, which include working on structural reforms, updating laws and regulations, and contributing to open the local markets for the products of all member states of the organisation. Besides preventing monopoly, this presents Omani consumers several choices in terms of quality and price.
Hilda added that the sultanate’s accession to WTO has also contributed to help Omani products reach new markets at the member states of WTO. As many as 164 member states of the organisation have opened their markets for Omani products, which led to an increase in the volume of Omani non-oil exports in the past 20 years.
Hilda called on the Omani private sector to take advantage of the opportunities granted by