Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is visiting Oman as part of his official visits to Gulf countries. This visit by Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler comes on the directives of King Salman and his eagerness to strengthen ties with the other leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council, ahead of the Arab Gulf summit in mid-December in Riyadh.
Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Muscat on Monday on the first stop of his regional tour to meet Sultan Haitham bin Tarik. On the occasion of this trip, it is recalled that Saudi Arabian and Omani companies signed the so-called "13 memoranda of understanding" worth more than 10 billion dollars last July, and it is expected that the visit will be based on these agreements that Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and King Salman have already concluded.
According to state sources, the prince's visit to Oman is an "affirmation of the ties of brotherhood and kinship, and the historical relations that bind the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", pointing to the new phase of economic and investment cooperation that awaits both countries.
The two countries signed these memoranda establishing a coordinating council to act jointly in boosting and investing in the private sector with the aim of diversifying their economies from oil and cooperating in various sectors, such as energy, tourism, finance, technology and media. The opening of their border crossings will also be key to ensuring this exchange of goods and people and to integrating, according to the leaders' statements, supply chains in order to achieve the desired economic integration.
Saudi Arabian and Omani companies signed trade agreements with each other to boost economic cooperation between the two countries in trade of all kinds, with energy, fisheries and agriculture, technology and finance being the sectors where the most deals were struck. Badr al-Badr, executive director of the National Business Entrepreneurship Programme in Saudi Arabia, said the investment was expected to exceed $10 billion.
On this regional route, the Saudi prince will also visit the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar. Mohammed bin Salman's next destination, after Muscat, is expected to be Abu Dhabi as a second capital to discuss bilateral relations on these Gulf visits.