Oman: new measures under way to improve investment climate
The Sultanate of Oman approved a series of economic policy royal decrees to improve the investment climate, with the twofold goal of accelerating the economic diversification process and restoring trust in markets after the complex financial situation experienced over the past two years. The measures, which will be in force as of 2020, mainly focus on promoting investments, privatisations, and public-private partnerships.
The new law on investment attraction and protection seeks to align the procedures in force in the Sultanate with international standards. The most interesting aspect of the measures is the elimination of the sponsorship requirements and the consequent possibility for foreign companies to hold 100 percent of the capital stock. Another measure introduced is the new law on the public-private partnerships which, once put into force with the implementing regulation, will promote local and international investments in new projects in the field of infrastructure, logistics and tourism through the possibility of establishing special completely foreign-owned ‘Project Companies’. Furthermore, the bankruptcy and financial insolvency law was approved, aiming to reorganise the consumer credit system. Lastly, a privatisation scheme is under way, envisaging the sale of state-owned or semi-public companies which are currently the major players in sectors with a growth potential in the field of industry, transport , logistics and services.
More economic measures have been anticipated to foster private entrepreneurship, including the introduction of new procedures for the registration of individual companies and the launch of the ‘Invest Easy’ portal. The aim is to promote small entrepreurship and pave the way for youth into the private sector, and encouraging the opening of small businesses, also owned by foreigners.