A lot has been going on between Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently. But all the efforts are being made to enhance trade and cultural relationships that will boost economic development on both sides of the border. The two countries have strengthened their relationship and joined hands to work towards a more stable and diversified economy.
The cooperation began in the early part of 2021 when a high-level delegation visited Saudi Arabia and signed a number of agreements across commerce, transport, and culture. Their intentions of developing bilateral ties with each other were made clear when a road connecting the two countries through the Empty Quarter was opened recently promoting cross-border trade, and tourism. The project, which has been under construction for more than six years was quickly taken to completion to solidify support for each other. This highway is being seen as an important source of economic development between the two countries as it will allow Oman to do trade with the rest of the world through Saudi Arabia’s the Red Sea and Saudi Arabia can benefit through the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Sea.
The signing of MoUs for a better tomorrow
Amongst many other high-level meetings of delegates, the officials from the two countries came together last month for taking things forward. The meeting saw two memoranda of understanding (MoU) being signed to consolidate road and air transport in the region. This is being seen as a vital step towards creating a strong trade relationship between Oman and Saudi Arabia while also making efforts to bring cultural harmony.
The two MoUs state that they will be able to share scientific information in order to better technical capacity and increase logistics cooperation. The agreements will also allow visits between engineers, experts, and technicians from the field of air and land transport. This never like before exchange of talent and experts will create an eco-system that can bring huge profits to the two countries. It is easy to envision that such initiatives are sure to add a lot of value in terms of how air and land transport will facilities will look like in the near future.
In addition to that, the MoUs also look at arranging seminars, meetings, and training programs for engineers, experts, and other professionals for creating a better workforce to take their transportation dreams ahead. The plans are also confirmed to utilize various geographical territories of the two countries to solve their logistical issues and bring about a positive outcome.
Why are the two countries moving closer?
Whenever measures and changes of such gigantic proportions are made, the reasons are almost always varied and detrimental. The same is the case with Oman and Saudi’s evolving relations. It is difficult to pinpoint at any particular reason that might have resulted in the change of their stance, but it could be safe to say that the recent political, economic, social, and health reasons, in addition to the change in the leadership, are surely some of the most significant reasons.
Both Oman and Saudi Arabia have been developing long-term growth plans and Oman’s Vision 2040 and Saudi’s Kingdom 2030 share a lot of similar traits. Hence, it makes sense for the two countries, who both are looking at diversifying their economy to join hands.
Oman’s strategic geographic situation and a stable political and security scenario have attracted a lot of foreign investment, especially in the logistics and tourism sector. The Sultanate has also worked tirelessly to leverage the advantages to catapult its economy by developing several special economic zones and ports while also promoting its tourism sites. Saudi Arabia also benefits Oman when it comes to tourism. Saudi’s population shares a similar language and religion with Oman and a considerable number of people visit Oman to witness its unique natural beauty.
Every economy needs an overhaul every now and then. This is a process that enables countries to factor in newer developments, make new friends, establish collaborative ties, ditch the old and irrelevant ways of handling the economy and start afresh. And the growing ties between Oman and Saudi Arabia are one such new beginning. The two countries sure know that increasing trade across the GCC region and collaborating on strengthening their cultural, political, and industrial ties will only help them become stronger powers. The rise of these two nations with a revived economy can be seen in the near future. The road has been paved, and the airways have been marked. A reinvigorated airways and road transport infrastructure will ensure that every effort yields results. With the Empty Quarter shortening the travel time by almost 16 hours, there is a renewed sense of business agility that can be seen on either side of the border. Similar efforts are being made to make the airways equally conducive and yielding. It’s only a matter of time when the Sultanate and the Kingdom will be re-writing their economic prowess for their respective people.