Muscat: With Oman becoming the first GCC country to set up a consulate in Lithuania, the two countries are looking to work very closely on political, economical and cultural ties.
Boleta Senkiene, who took over as honorary Consul of the Sultanate of Oman in Lithuania in December 2013, said, "We are keen on letting Oman know that we can offer expertise and cooperation in sectors such as ICT, agriculture, medical and education. We are a strong economy and proud that we have achieved a lot within 23 years of gaining Independence."
Senkiene, who is on a visit to Oman, met with authorities from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, General Reserve Fund, Higher Education Council and Ministry of Transport and Communications, among others.
It was the ICT sector that opened the door for Lithuania to come to Oman.
Senkiene explained, "Lithuania is known for its specialists in the ICT sector, so the first connection to Oman was through this sector. Three years ago, IT companies from Lithuania attended the Comex exhibition. We came the next year and since then, have been working closely with the ITA."This helped the two sides to take the ties to the next level.
"An ITA delegation from Oman is set to visit Lithuania soon and an MoU with its counterpart in Lithuania is expected," she said.
Stating that Lithuania has much to offer in the ICT sector, Senkiene said, "I encourage companies from Oman to explore ICT in our country in a big way since we have a lot of know-how."
Senkiene informed that Lithuania can offer expertise in the area of agriculture since it plays a crucial role in the economy of the country.
"Lithuanian minister of agriculture is expected to visit Oman soon. When he is here, he can present the country in this sector," Senkiene said.
Medical tourism is another sector that Lithuania is famous for.
"We are aware that Oman sends a lot of its people abroad for treatment. Lithuania could be the country for healing serious diseases. Our doctors and nurses are known for their high customer service quality," she said, while adding that plans are underway to establish a medical centre in Oman.
She also informed that Lithuania is known for its wellness treatment centres.
Despite being a small country, Lithuania has much to offer the tourists, she said, adding, "We have a rich culture and architecture, museums, parks, beautiful landscape with lakes and rivers."
Fastest growing economy
Lithuania has been among the fastest growing economies in the European Union and is ranked 17th in the world in the Ease of Doing Business Index.
"This is reason enough for Oman to think of investing in our country. We have government agencies such as Invest Lithuania and Export Lithuania that provide introductions to global companies interested in doing business in the country," she said.
She explained that the country has changed into a free market system to bring mobility and flexibility into its economy.
The newly appointed honorary consul also feels that Lithuania can be a hub for Oman in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. "It's our aim and hope we will succeed," she said.
Similarly, Lithuania hopes to use Oman as a gateway to GCC, Iran and Mena region.
"Oman has excellent relations with all the countries, besides having perfect infrastructure. So if somebody exports, they can also look to re-export. There is huge potential for taking these ties to a higher plane," she said and promised to create great awareness about Oman.
She thanked Anees Issa Al Zadjali, honorary Consul of Lithuania in Oman for all the support he has been rendering.
"He has opened the door and has been taking very good care of Lithuania," she said. Senkiene also thanked Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, secretary-general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for extending cooperation.
Senkiene promised to work towards further strengthening the bilateral relations between the