Oman is on a spree of enforcing reforms and undertaking initiatives to attract foreign investment and put the country on the global map as one of the most lucrative destinations for trade and investment and economically at par with the developed nations.
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP) has recently issued a new Ministerial decision (MD) effective 4th April 2022 to amend certain Articles of Executive Regulations of the Foreign Capital Investment Law (FCIL) to further enhance the legislative framework of the FCIL and improve the foreign investment climate for doing business in Oman. More such MDs are in the pipeline for positively impacting potential foreign investment and achieving the country’s economic development goals in line with the objectives of Oman Vision 2040.
Investment Promotion Initiatives In 2022
The Ministry has announced some 41 initiatives under six categories to attract more investors for company formation in Oman during 2022.
The investment promotion initiatives planned for 2022 include the creation of new industrial investment opportunities, rolling out a national e-commerce plan, linking commercial transactions to the Bayan Platform, introducing Arabic certificates of origin, setting up dedicated investor services centres and developing the Omani Quality Mark. These are some of the major initiatives to be taken by the MoCIIP in its efforts to promote investment in the country.
To enhance the impact of the economic stimulus package, funds allocated to the government development programme have been planned to be raised from OMR10 million to OMR20 million and fees to be reduced across many services.
The government in a Royal Decree issued on 2nd March 2022 announced several incentives for the foreign investors looking for business set up in Oman in three new Omani airports free zones at Muscat, Salalah and Sohar enjoying 100% foreign ownership; import and export duty exemptions; zero minimum capital; and a 15‑year tax exemption, which can be extended for another five years. Banking, insurance, NBFCs and projects involving telecom, land transport and contract services are kept out of this tax exemption scheme.
18 Investment Opportunities Worth 1 Billion OMR In Waste Management Projects
MoCIIP has unveiled 18 investment opportunities in the tourism and circular economy sectors for waste management projects worth exceeding OMR 1 billion in partnership with the Muscat National Development and Investment Company (ASAS), the Omani Tourism Development Company (Omran), Omani Environmental Services Holding Company (Be’ah) and the Jabal Busher Heights Real Estate Development Company.
The Ministry rolled out these projects in cooperation with the public and private sectors, in the tourism and circular economy sectors for waste management projects for attracting qualitative investments in economic diversification sectors. The initiative will help create an appropriate environment for the success and development of investments and will enable and motivate the private sector to invest and bring in more FDI contributions to the gross domestic product of the national economy.
The official report revealed that out of these 18 investment opportunities in waste management projects, six are in the tourism sector with an investment volume of approximately OMR 974 million and the remaining 12 investment opportunities are in the circular economy sector worth OMR 528 million.
The Importers Directory Service providing a database of global importers in more than 180 countries around the world would also be introduced soon, a government report said. The service will focus on offering support to exporters, institutions and commercial companies operating in Oman and help increase the volume of their exports to all the importing countries of the world.
Some of these waste management projects, as per MoCIIP, will include biogas plants which will be allocated in Barka landfill for the recycling treatment of up to 150,000 tonnes of organic waste per year and producing around 4-6 megawatts of electricity, connected to the main grid for the household energy needs or others.
While one project aims to convert used-cooking oil into biofuel for use in the diesel fleet, the other focuses on constructing two Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling plants and establishing a waste-to-energy plant. A project for recycling glass waste for green waste recycling has also been designed under this new investment opportunities initiative.
The 17 initiatives implemented by the ministry in 2021 have been successful and a few of them have been carried forward to this year.
The country registered growth in FDI inflow by 7.7% to reach OMR 17.08 billion by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to OMR 15.86 billion during the same period in 2020, as per data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).