Oman seeks to strengthen trade ties with Malaysia

Leaders from Oman’s investment and export development agency Ithraa recently concluded a successful fact-finding trade mission to Malaysia, as the Gulf nation looks at ways to strengthen ties with a growing Malaysian economy.

Malaysia’s economy is one of the fastest developing in the world and is predicted to grow approximately 5 percent in the coming year. That makes it an attractive place for investment in the eyes of Oman’s non-oil exporting businesses, which in turn could help diversify the country’s economy.

Nasima Al Balushi, Ithraa’s director general of export development, said pushing diversification is a fundamental part of Ithraa’s mandate.

“The Sultanate is open for business and the government is committed to supporting non-oil Omani export growth and encouraging inward investment,” Al Balushi said. “This was the message we were delivering to colleagues in Kuala Lumpur.”

The trade delegation focused on sectors where Oman and Malaysia already work together on export issues, looking at ways to widen Oman’s presence in those markets.

Malaysia’s markets aren’t Ithraa’s only targets. Headway gained there could translate to more presence in Southeast Asia as a whole. It’s part of a strategy of driving non-oil exports by placing investment and trade representatives markets around the world to learn how to penetrate both mature and emerging markets.