China has provided US$540million to Oman for investment in different infrastructure projects as part of its Belt and Road Initiative, said H.E. Li Lingbing, China’s Ambassador to Oman at a briefing.

The briefing was held to deliberate on the issues discussed at the Second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation in Beijing recently.

HE Li said, ‘China signed an MoU with Oman in the year 2018 as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. Now, Oman is the most important partner of China with regard to the co-operation in Belt and Road Forum.

It is not only because of BRF but otherwise as Oman is also one of the important partners of China in the entire Gulf region.’

Regarding the China-Oman co-operation, H E Li said, ‘In 2016, China provided two loans to Oman to undertake two different projects. One is US$265million provided by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for construction of the Duqm Port.

The Second was US$36mn for Road Construction in the Country.In 2017, the AIIB provided loans to the tune of US$239 million for laying broadband service in Oman which means we have provided a loan of US$540 million to Oman.

‘With the co-operation going on in different sectors I believe there is a bright future for both the countries,’ she said. She also detailed the key takeaways from the forum.

In relation to infrastructure construction, statistics indicate that by far China has established ship routes with more than 600 major ports in over 200 countries.

Shipping services have widely stretched out to all coastal countries along the B & R routes. For railway connections, the cumulative number of trips made by China-Europe freight trains exceeded 12,000 in 2018, with annual shipments reaching US$16 billion, compared with only 17 trips and less than US$600 million in 2011.

Total trade between China and other Belt and Road countries amounted to US$6.47 Trillion in the 2013-18 period. More than 80 overseas economic and trade cooperation zones were built, and more than 244,000 jobs created for locals.

In the past five years, development banks and policy banks have offered great support for the B & R construction.

As of the end of 2018, the membership of AIIB had grown to 93 that is 60 percent of which belongs to the B & R Countries. AIIB has approved investment for projects worth over US$5.3billion.

The Silk Road Fund, established by China with a total investment of US$40bn, received a capital increase of 100 billion yuan (US$14.84billion approx) in 2017. The fund has signed agreements with 19 projects worth US$80bn and promised to invest US$7 billon.