Oman looking to boost imports of high-value products from Indonesia

Muscat - 

Oman is looking to boost imports of high-value products from Indonesia and increase bilateral trade from the around US$462.34mn achieved in 2013. Oman is a non-traditional export destination for Indonesia.

A trade mission comprising 24 importers from Oman visited Indonesia last week to explore further business opportunities.

The delegation was hopeful that with the recently-launched direct flight from Muscat to Jakarta, trade links between the two countries would reach new heights. 

Ali Saleh al Kabani, chairman of the Ibri branch of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, called on dozens of Indonesian businesspeople to invest in Oman, where opportunities were available in all business sectors.

“Political stability, security and labour, all which support investment, exist in Oman,” he said.

Kabani further said that Omani importers were seeking opportunities to source more goods directly from Indonesia. At present, some Indonesian products, such as furniture and food, enter the country through surrounding countries, notably UAE.

Dody Edward, the Indonesian Trade Ministry’s export development cooperation director, was quoted by The Jakarta Post as saying that the shipments to Oman would include cosmetics, jewellery, furniture, Muslim fashion items and halal-certified products.

“We’ve found no major barrier to selling our products to Oman. That’s why we should increase our exports there,” he said, on the sidelines of a buying mission attended by an Omani delegation.

Dody further said that his office expected exports to rebound to nearly US$240mn this year, a level reached in 2012. Oman till now has served as a fast-growing market for Indonesian exporters as revealed by Trade Ministry statistics.

Indonesia’s outbound shipments to the sultanate rose 26.45 per cent on average to US$209.39mn last year from 2009. From January to September this year, exports surged 14.34 per cent to US$187.19mn from the previous year.

The biggest contributors to sales were automobiles (37.22 per cent), followed by palm oil (33.03 per cent), plywood (12.24 per cent) and paper (3.3 per cent).

Despite the promising growth, southeast Asia’s biggest economy still ranked as the 27th biggest exporter to Oman with a minor share of 0.63 per cent, according to the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade), leaving enormous room to explore. 

In addition to the high value-added goods, Indonesia may also increase the shipment of building materials needed by massive construction projects taking place in Oman, Dody said.

In the service sector, professional jobs, such as in construction and hospitality were also available for Indonesians to grab, he added.

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