South Africa’s Embassy in Muscat has hosted a business seminar titled ‘Truly South Africa’ highlighting the need to develop business opportunities between the two countries, and to emphasise trade visits in translating potential into business deals, according to Muscat Daily.

HE Major-General Lungile Chris Pepani, South African Ambassador to Oman explained that the rising trend of business delegations visiting Oman could be linked by the top level diplomatic trip made by South African president Jacob Zuma to Muscat in November 2011.

He noted: “In the past one year, we have seen a heavy inflow of South African business visitors to Oman, and I am sure there are going to be many more business delegations to Oman in the near future – we are very serious about our ambitions in Oman.”

Pepani highlighted the potential for increased cooperation between the two countries, stating: “South Africa has access to the African continent, the Americas and to the East, as well as a dynamic investment environment that offers many competitive advantages. This presents a very strong case for Omani businesses to work closely with South African businesses.”

He also added that both Oman and South Africa should consider co-operating in their common focus areas of the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and infrastructure.

Ayman Abdullah Mohammed al Hasani, vice chair of the Oman Chamber’s Industry and Mining committee, noted: “Both sides are making sincere efforts to improve and upgrade bilateral trade relations. Oman enjoys lots of resources that make it a promising investment destination, while the expansion of Oman’s free zones has also become an attraction.”

In equal measure, Hasani added that South Africa is rich in minerals and diamond mining, that providing opportunities for Omani mining companies looking to invest in this area, and the country “also presents opportunities in agriculture, tourism, construction and other industries.”

Also present was Anwar Al Balushi, chairman of Anwar Asian Investment, which has invested in Johannesburg iron ore mining firm Ferrum Crescent. He said he had been impressed by the infrastructure, power, roads and the commitment to upgrade them in that country.

A day earlier, Jacob Zuma received the credentials of Mubark bin Salim al Zakwani as the Sultanate’s accredited ambassador to the Republic of South Africa, at which occasion Al Zakwani passed on best wishes of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos to the people of South Africa.