As Oman continues to tighten its belt to boost the economy, a number of new investment opportunities – some worth RO16.3 billion – across three main sectors in Oman have been showcased at a three-day exhibition hosted at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre by Tanfeedh.
Tanfeedh is Oman’s solution to raise issues surrounding a non-oil future, and discuss ways to prepare the country for a better tomorrow. The exhibition also serves as a platform to engage with the community following the intensive “labs” that were held to evaluate challenges and come up with solutions for each sector.
In all, 121 projects were unveiled at the exhibition on Monday (November 28).
Of this, the contribution from the private sector is expected to stand at RO14 billion, while the public sector is expected to provide between RO1.5 and 2.5 billion in contributions.
These projects are to be implemented by the respective ministries and related private sector parties, with the support of the “Delivery Support and Follow-up Unit”, which was established by Royal Decree No 50/2016. According to Tanfeedh, the tourism sector should create 10,000 jobs for Omanis by 2020 in order to help develop projects and attract private investments into the country.
In an interview with local media, Talal Sulaiman al Rahbi, deputy secretary-general of the Supreme Council for Planning, was quoted as saying: “The implementation of the projects will start in January 2017. Ministries and Government entities will use a new method to identify their needs while the Supreme Council of Planning will evaluate and rank projects before they are implemented.
“Now it is the turn of the public to give their feedback on the proposed projects. Both the nationals and expatriates can participate in the survey online,” said al Rahbi.
According to Tanfeedh, the new proposed foreign capital law allows 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies in Oman. At the same time, it allows for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to restrict certain industries in the interests of the nation.
“After feedback from the public, if need be, laws will be amended to incorporate the proposals,” Al Rahbi said.
The Tanfeedh proposals also include the introduction of various labour solution packages, easy visa processes for new target markets, establishing a centralised infrastructure board and activating a tourism development fund. A temporary visa system for workers in certain sectors is also being discussed.
“There is a proposal for amending labour laws and setting up a ‘one-window’ clearance for labourers,” Al Rahbi was quoted as saying.