Muscat – Turkey’s Ambassador to Oman anticipates that Omani citizens could gain visa-free access to his country by the end of 2024. With over 130,000 Omani tourists visiting Turkey in 2022, a formal request has been submitted for such access.
H E Muhammet Hekimoglu, Ambassador of Turkey to Oman, said that the number of Omani tourists in Turkey is continually rising. He aims to bolster tourism ties between the two nations, organising events and meetings to entice Turkish tourists to Oman and acquaint them with its tourism potential.
H E Hekimoglu praised the substantial growth in bilateral cooperation across various sectors in the last decade. He reiterated the Turkish Embassy’s commitment to enhance these relations and fulfilling mutual aspirations and interests. “The Turkish-Omani Business Council and commerce and industry chambers are establishing connections to encourage Turkish businesses to participate in Omani exhibitions, particularly in the food and beverage sector,” he said.
He further informed that Oman and Turkey’s trade volume has increased since 2017, reaching nearly US$2bn in 2022. Omani imports amounted to US$1.58bn and exports totaled US$465mn.
In an interview with ONA, H E Hekimoglu disclosed ongoing efforts to establish a Turkish industrial zone in Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD), suggesting that such a facility would bolster the economies of both nations, significantly influencing development of bilateral relations.
He added that Turkey values investment opportunities in SEZAD, particularly considering Oman’s emphasis on developing non-oil commercial and industrial activities. With its proximity to GCC states and markets in South Asia and East Africa, the sultan-ate’s strategic ports are poised for more growth and business. “Efforts are on to foster increased cooperation and knowledge sharing in electricity, mining and renewable and alternative energy sources between our countries.”
Efforts are also continuing to optimise trade and investment opportunities, aiming to overcome obstacles and facilitate trade and investment flow between the two countries. The envoy invited Turkish businessmen to visit Oman, encouraging them to participate in exhibitions and explore the sultanate’s investment opportunities.
Currently, around 35 Turkish companies operate in Oman’s contracting and engineering sector, undertaking projects worth US$7bn. Many of these companies continue to actively pursue new projects, he informed.
H E Hekimoglu thanked Oman for the aid sent following the earthquake in February, acknowledging the valuable role of Oman’s Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority in search and rescue operations.