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Home / Politics / The Omani Ambassador: We Aim Long-Term Prospects

The Omani Ambassador: We Aim Long-Term Prospects

The Oman Embassy in Tashkent has hosted an official reception in honor of the country's National Day. In anticipation of the holiday, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mohamed Said Mohamed Al Lawati, spoke to Uzbekistan Today in an interview.

The head of the diplomatic mission began with words of condolence on the passing away of the first President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, who, according to the diplomat, had laid the foundation for the bilateral cooperation during his visit to Muscat in 2009. As an outcome of the visit, Oman opened its Embassy in Tashkent in 2010.

“Over the past six years, the most significant result of the interaction between our two nations has been the construction of a new building for the Center for Oriental Manuscripts under the Beruni Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies. Please tell us more about this project.”

“Relations between Uzbekistan and Oman have been developing steadily since 2010. For six years, we have implemented a number of joint projects, and the cornerstone of them, as you point out, was the construction of a new building for the Center of Oriental Manuscripts at the Beruni Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies, for which the Omani government had allocated a grant worth $20 million.

“I would like to note that in the construction of any facility important is the timing of commissioning. In this sense, our facility has been put into operation in lead time. It is currently ready for commissioning, outfitted with furniture and household appliances. There, French specialists have been installing computer equipment brought from Oman. To date, that is an advanced technology in the field of library services, and we are, of course, to train employees of the library how to use it.”

“Who has built the facility, was it Uzbek specialists?”

“Yes. And we were struck by their ability to work, because the laying of the first stone took place on September 15, 2015, and exactly one year later the building was ready to be commissioned. It is designed in the style of Omani and Uzbek architecture. All used building materials are locally produced, and I would like to emphasize their high quality. The only thing we brought from Oman is marble, and it was a deliberate move: we wanted to leave a small footprint.

“As you know, the manuscripts in the library are the valuables of not only the Uzbek people, but also the entire world, thus the rare works collected there are included in the Memory of the World register. The project director, the British engineer Nicholas Swallow with particular trepidation treated the preservation of rare books and manuscripts. During the construction, he paid much attention to the microclimate of the premises. In such cases extremely important is also the system of gas fire control. It is these very effective installations that we have outfitted the special storage center with. Its value is no additional damage that may cause the extinguishing agent to the stored documents and artistic valuables.”

“When do you plan to open the center?”

“In the spring of 2017”.

“We have talked about the major project, and now we may move on to the major issue in the bilateral relations, namely, the growth of trade turnover.”

“Last year, in September Tashkent hosted the third meeting of the Uzbek-Oman intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation. To participate in it, a delegation of the Sultanate of Oman headed by Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al-Busaidi came to Uzbekistan. The Uzbek side was represented by Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade Elyor Ganiev. Then the two parties discussed the growth in the volume of trade, which in January-June 2015 amounted to $23.9 thousand. This is a tiny figure, it is indicative of non-use of the existing potential between our two countries, and encourages us for effective measures to bolster the trade and investment ties.”

“In one of your interviews you spoke of the high potential in the agricultural sector...”

“Yes indeed. We even came up with a proposal to the Uzbek side on the supply of meat to Oman. However, as it turned out, the need for meat is very high in Uzbekistan, too, and the issue was dropped out from the agenda. But we are ready to import your other agricultural products. In the meantime, the problem is in transportation expenses: you can imagine how costly the road from Tashkent to Muscat is. I think it will be resolved by the activation of the agreement on the creation of transport corridor Uzbekistan - Turkmenistan - Iran - Oman, its launch will contribute to the dynamic development of multilateral relations, especially in trade, economic and investment spheres.”

“It turns out that today, for the development of relations with Oman, the market of Uzbekistan is just being studied?”

“Yes, we are closely following the economic reforms in Uzbekistan, and the opportunities for investment cooperation is studied the Uzbek-Oman investment fund set up after the visit of the first President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to Oman. At present, the fund capital is at $500 million, yet in the near future we plan to increase this figure to $1 billion. This step demonstrates our focus on long-term trade and economic partnership.”



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