Oman announces new incentives to attract more foreign investment

The Council of Ministers recently announced new incentives to stimulate the business climate, to attract more foreign investment and to improve the ease of doing business. The move comes as Oman ramps up the efforts to diversify the sources of income away from oil and gas which makes up the bulk of the state revenue at the moment.

The plans include a long-term urban growth strategy which is considered a key enabler for the realization of the Oman Vision 2040. The Council of Ministers issued a number of legislations including a partnership law to govern the relations between the public sector and the private sector in projects, an investment law and a bankruptcy law.

In addition, the Ministry of Economy and the key stakeholders in the country have taken additional steps to create an investment friendly regulatory framework by introducing the New Foreign Capital Investment Law (FCIL).

The previous minimum share capital requirements have been abandoned and 100 percent foreign ownership will be permitted in companies established in selected sectors. Fees for registering a company under the Ministry of Economy start from OMR 3 thousand (USD 7,800) and depend on the proposed share capital of the new company.

The Ministry of Economy plans to simplify the company formation procedures to make it easier to obtain licences for commercial activities and to further entice foreign investors. Apart from that, long-term resident permits in accordance with specific conditions will be offered to foreign investors.

Oman does not boast very large financial reserves like some of the neighbours with the total assets of the country’s two largest sovereign wealth funds estimated at OMR 7.7 billion (USD 20 billion).

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