MUSCAT, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Oman needs to consolidate its economic ties with China to benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative, well-known Omani columnist Khalfan Al-Touqi told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"The project is very important not only for China or Oman alone, but for the world," Al-Touqi, a columnist and writer, commented on the Chinese initiative, which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network to connect Asia with Africa and Europe along the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
He said Oman needs to elevate its economic ties with China to the level of partnership to benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative.
What distinguishes Oman is that it is located on the ancient Silk Road, and could serve as China's gateway to the Gulf and its important passage to the Horn of Africa, Al-Touqi said.
"So, the economists in Oman need to think strategically in line with this project, which will change the features of trade in the future," he added.
In an article published by the Omani daily Al-Royah on Sunday, Al-Touqi also urged his country to further strengthen its economic relations with China.
"When it strengthens its economic cooperation with China, especially in this giant project, the Sultanate of Oman can be one of the new re-export centers or can share with China some of the main stations of the land or sea routes by direct financial investment," Al-Touqi said.
He proposed creating a permanent special Omani economic team to study how to make the most of the Belt and Road Initiative, which he said will "reshape the balance of trade forces in the present century."
"If the details of the project (Belt and Road Initiative) are tracked by specialists, there will certainly be more space and horizons for cooperation between the Sultanate of Oman and China," he said.
Al-Touqi highlighted the depth and strength of the strong relations between Oman and China, the largest importer of Omani oil.
The bilateral economic ties have also flourished through the Omani-Chinese partnership in the establishment of the Al Duqm Special Economic Zone, Al-Touqi noted.