The Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) has been providing great impetus for China and Oman to cement the already established win-win cooperation, Chinese Ambassador to Oman Li Lingbing said in an interview.
Li made the remarks ahead of China’s top political adviser’s upcoming visit to Egypt and Oman. Wang Yang, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, will pay official visits to the two countries from Nov. 10 to 16.
The joint development of the BRI has become an “inexhaustible” drive for the two countries to realise mutual benefits and common development, Li said.
Since the establishment of the diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1978, bilateral relations have enjoyed sustained and vigorous development. In 2018, a strategic partnership was established between the two countries, opening a new chapter for China-Oman ties, she said.
China has been Oman’s largest trading Partner
“At present, the two countries enjoy high-level mutual understanding, support each other in regional and international affairs, and increase exchanges and cooperation in all fields, showing strong desires for a comprehensive and in-depth strategic partnership” Li said.
“Trade cooperation is the longest and most active part of bilateral relations of the two countries. It links people from both sides, brings benefits and enhances the well-being of the Chinese and Arab people,” she said.
China has been Oman’s largest trading partner and Oman has become China’s fourth-largest trading partner among the Arab countries, the Ambassador added.
In 2018, bilateral trade volume reached 21.7 billion U.S. dollars, up 40 percent year on year.
In the first half of 2019, China-Oman trade volume reached 10.6 billion dollars, up 6.3 percent from the same period last year, while China’s imports from Oman reached 9.2 billion dollars, up 8.4 percent year on year.
With growing exchanges and cooperation, China and Oman have boosted cooperation in more fields, including culture, agriculture, tourism, investment, finance, aviation and human resources, said Li.
“Oman is also an active supporter of BRI,” she said. “In May 2018, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two governments on building the BRI, under which fruitful cooperation has been carried out.”
Under the BRI, the Chinese companies in Oman have undertaken projects with a total turnover of more than 6 billion dollars, in fields such as communication and electricity, the ambassador added.
The BRI, proposed by China in 2013, refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which aim at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.
The total investment of the Chinese enterprises in Oman has reached 2.5 billion dollars, covering oil and gas exploration and development, ocean fishing, processing and manufacturing, and trade and logistics, Li said.
“We will continue to earnestly implement the consensus reached by both heads of state and deepen practical cooperation in politics, economy, trade, investment and people-to-people exchanges,” Li added.