Oman and Zanzibar plan $500m joint investments

Three agreements signed to boost education and business services

Oman and Zanzibar signed three agreements during President Hussein Ali Mwinyi's official visit to the Sultanate. Photo: Oman News Agency
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Zanzibar on Thursday signed three agreements with Omani companies and government establishments worth over $500 million in what President Hussein Ali Mwinyi called “ventures that tied up historical ties” between the two countries.

During his three-day visit to the Sultanate, Mr Mwinyi addressed local business directors as well as government officials before the signing ceremonies at the Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat.

“These are the agreements that will cement our historical ties between our two countries,” he said.

“The ventures will also bring the two peoples closer together to work an areas of common concerns.

“Zanzibar and Oman used the trade winds to do businesses and now we are embarking on new technologies to do the same in modern times.”

The agreements included establishing a knowledge transfer centre, a digital infrastructure platform and the setting up of a data park to store both private and public information to facilitate joint business ventures.

Mr Mwinyi also urged delegates to start talks on tourism ventures between the two countries and promised to create a “fruitful environment” for investors in the sector.

“Zanzibar has all the attractions and is a major tourist destination,” Mr Mwinyi said.

“Omanis are not strangers to this fact and I would urge them to come invest in tourism and we will create a fruitful environment of investments.”

Investment experts say the agreements will be “fast-tracked” with both sides keen to get the projects going as soon as possible.

“I don’t see any hiccups or delays in the signed investments of these projects,” Ali Al Khanjari, one of the business delegates who was present at the signing ceremony, told The National. “I visited Zanzibar a month ago and I could see a number of Omani business people already engaging in investment discussions.”

Zanzibar was part of Oman’s overseas territory in the 19th century when dhows regularly sailed the Indian Ocean to establish a thriving trade between Asia and East Africa.

Updated: October 13, 2022, 6:28 PM