Muscat, 4 Apr (ONA) —- The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, has unveiled a number of initiatives in the sectors of commerce, industry, investment, protection of competition and prevention of monopoly.
In a statement at a videoconferencing media gathering, run from the Ministry at the Diplomatic Institute, the ministry said that its plan for the forthcoming period keeps pace with of Oman Vision 2040’s goals, notably economic diversification, employment, improving the Sultanate’s ranking in global indexes, raising in-country value (ICV), enhancing foreign direct investment, realizing balanced growth across governorates and promoting and diversifying exports.
Qais Mohammed al-Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, said that, over the recent stage, the ministry conducted a number of incentives in the commerce sector, including connectivity with the Tax Authority towards the issuance of Tax Number, connection with the Consumer Protection Authority, allowing free-of-charge amendment of business name, improving business name services, registration of companies governed by the Foreign Capital Law, extending the validity of commercial registers during Covid-19 pandemic, implementing exemption from fees for small and medium enterprises as per Royal orders, improving investor self-service and launching the service of automatic licensing for more than 1,600 activities.
Al-Yousef pointed out that merging licensing and approvals in one transaction accessed through Invest-Easy electronic portal has contributed to automatic approval, thus enabling investors to begin to work directly on their respective projects.
Invest-Easy also made it possible to streamline the process of application, either made online or through Sanad offices, said al-Yousef.
In his turn, Dr. Saleh Said Massan, Commerce and Industry Under-Secretary, reviewed the incentives offered to the industrial sector. He said that the incentives included activating, facilitating and encouraging direct import and export via the Sultanate’s maritime and air outlets as a measure to address the contemporary challenges and provide raw material to the units, besides supplying foodstuffs, opening up new import markets and suspending the export of some products.
Massan pointed out that initiatives in the industrial sector included determining the basic international companies specialized in the field of strategic industries (medical industries sector) and attracting their investment in the Sultanate.
The incentives to the industrial sector also focused on converting industries, updating the law on organizing and encouraging industrialization, recycling waste, implementing the “industrial data portal” and specifying some investment opportunities linked to in-country value.
Massan explained that initiatives in the commercial sector included one on the issuance of some regulations, laws and legislations (exhibition management regulation, trademarks law regulation, street vendors’ regulation and money-laundering control regulation.
Initiatives in the investment promotion sector included specifying target markets and sectors for investment promotion and development of exports through videoconferencing with ambassadors abroad, said Massan.
He added that the Made-in-Oman campaign saw 100% sale of the products and that the campaign recommended drafting a uniform regulation for fees while at the same time considering the status of small and medium enterprises.
Massan also spoke about incentives in the standards and metrology sector. These, he said, included revising some procedures and services, enabling the private sector to offer some of them (services) without referring to the ministry, comparing registered products through labs and accreditation departments, issuing the trailers chassis number, issuing health certificates and certificates of validity and re-export of foodstuff and providing more than 90% of services electronically.
Massan added that initiatives in the standards and metrology also include electronic connection between Bayan customs system and Invest-Easy system to help include new imported products. This is besides activating monitoring programmes and surveying markets in cooperation with the Consumer Protection Authority, said the official.
Initiatives in the sector of competition protection and monopoly control include devising a comprehensive index for competition in the Sultanate, said Massan.
He pointed out that the Ministry exerts efforts to limit the risks posed by illicit trade, a sector which includes 173 activities in which not a single Omani operates.
In her turn, Aseela Salim al-Samsami, Investment Promotion Under-Secretary, said that as many as 23 initiatives served the sector of investment promotion and investment services across 8 sectors by the end of December 2020.
Aseela explained that Oman Vision 2040 focuses on countries applying for investment in Oman via Invest-Easy system—a total of 137 have aggregate investments of $26 billion.