A high level Sri Lankan Ministerial delegation headed by Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama, undertook an official visit to Oman together with a team of officials from the statutory agencies coming under the purview of the respective Ministries for meetings with the Omani counterparts on May 5 and 6.
The team also included Minister of Highways and Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development, Kabir Hashim and Minister of Industry and Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Co-operative Development and Vocational Training & Skills Development Rishad Bathiudeen. The visit was a follow up to the Dr. Mohammed Hamed Al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas of Oman had with the three Ministers in Sri Lanka in March 2019, during the formerâ€™s visit to Sri Lanka as the Guest of Honour at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Green Field Oil Refinery in Hambantota, on the invitation of Minister of Industry and Commerce.
The delegation was taken on a familiarization tour to the Sohar Free Zone and Port where comprehensive presentations were made by the representatives of the Sohar Port Industrial Port company and Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic). During the familiarization tour, the delegation was given a comprehensive briefing of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry of Oman. The delegation had a site visit to the oil refinery and Liwa Plastic Industries Complex. The delegation also had official discussions with Dr. Mohammed Hamed Al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas of Oman, Ali Masoud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Mulham Al Jarf, Chief Investment Officer of the State General Reserve Fund.
The meeting with Dr. Mohamed Rumhy focused on exploring avenues for cooperation in the field of petroleum industry between Sri Lanka and Oman and sharing the experience of Oman in setting up of oil refinery projects in Oman and abroad. The Omani Minister reiterated the firm interest of the Oman Oil Company to take part in the Hambantota oil Refinery project as an equity partner. The two delegations also discussed on providing training for the staff of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltdin Oman.
At the meeting with the Ali Masoud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry, it has been agreed to expedite the process of finalizing the Agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between the Government of Sri Lanka and Oman.
At the meeting with Mulham Al Jarf, Chief Investment Officer of the State General Reserve Fund(SGRF), which is the sovereign wealth fund as well the main investment arm of the Sultanate, the Sri Lankan side briefed on the investment opportunities in the areas of ports development, fisheries, agriculture, hospitality industry and development of highways.
The programme for the visit to Oman was arranged by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in coordination with the relevant Omani authorities.