Investment in Oman
Investment in Oman plays a major role in all developing economies; as it drives its dynamic basics of growth, development, and structural changes. Despite the prevailing economic, political and social circumstances at the Omani renaissance in 1970, the intensive programs on investment during the past four decades along with his majesty prudential guidelines have been able to transfer the modest oil revenues to a developed economic and social infrastructure, essential for leading sustainable development.
In fact, the Sultanate has the infrastructures that encourage and facilitate the national and foreign investment in Oman. Its geographical location that overlooks international and regional sea lanes along with the existence of Omani ports open new horizons for investment and free trading. Moreover, the Sultanate is characterized by its stable economy, strong infrastructure, and qualified human resources that guarantee the easiness of investment in Oman. Not to mention the regulations issued to support this open economic direction and to encourage foreign investments, which are gradually increasing by the Sultanate's engagement in international organizations, international trading organization, and free trading agreement with USA. Oman seeks attracting foreign investment through a number of incentives (Arabic only) such as:
- Competitive services' prices.
- Tax exemption for five years and it could be longer under certain conditions.
- No income tax for individuals.
- Freedom of transferring capitals and profits and freedom of exchanging foreign currency with fixed exchange rate.
- Full foreign property right: Property rate starts from 70% to 100% after obtaining the ministers' council consent.
- One Stop Shop service: It helps investors to get all the inquiries and transactions they need as soon as possible.
- Opening new office or representative office for foreign companies in Oman: Companies that run their businesses with the Government are allowed to open new offices or commercial representative offices in Oman.
- Various forms of business entities and its main advantages: Investors can form more than one legal entity in order to organize their business. Such entities are: public joint stock companies, public closed cooperation, limited liabilities companies, and holding companies. (For more information, follow the incentives link)
Within the framework of economic diversification based on exports, the Sultanate aims at the exploitation and industrialization of its natural resources; especially natural gas, and the increase of added value to those resources as the government had concentrated its efforts for marketing theses resources. The constant efforts resulted in signing agreements to establish some big industrial projects with the partnership of foreign capitals such as Polypropylene, Urea and Ammonia, Methanol, and Aluminum Smelter, Steel and Iron projects besides to other projects such as fertilizers project in Sur, and Qalhat Company for Natural Liquid Gas.
Investment Opportunities in Oman
Stressing on the importance of economy variation and magnifying the benefit of the strategic position of the Sultanate, besides to the consideration of the benefits gained by the foreign investment, the Government has adopted the idea of establishing some free zones in different parts of the Sultanate. These free zones are:
- Slalah Free Zone.
- Slalah Port.
- Sohar Industrial Port.
- Sohar Free Zone.
- Mazyona Free Zone.
- Masandam Free Zone.
You can find information in the portal on the Free Trading Zones or you can have a look at this document on the investment opportunities in Oman (Arabic only). These zones are considered to be great attractive zones, due to the completed infrastructures. Also, there are a lot of various opportunities in the field of infrastructures services projects, educational projects, oil, gas, health, tourism, and information technology.
In this regard, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry the Public Announcements service which helps to predict the trends and make strategic decisions improving the business environment for the good of Oman.
Exports and Imports in Oman
As one goal of the Sultanate first development plan states:" Working on finding a new national income that supports oil revenues and supersedes it in the future," the Sultanate deems it essential that it develops its non-oil exports and achieves the benefits expected from contacting the world through multi-national network by opening new markets for Omani products.
The Public Authority for Investment Promotion & Export Development is considered the main source of information about exports and imports in Oman. It pursues the Export Development Strategy (Arabic only) that will help to develop the non-oil exports in Oman. You can read more on the industrial exports in Oman through this paper that was presented at the Industrial Conference 2014 in Muscat.
The Public Authority for Investment Promotion & Export Development got the UN trading and development conference prize (ONCTAD) as the Best Institution for Promoting Foreign Investment Directed to Exports in 2012.