26 September 2016
Muscat: Two major regulations for strengthening the industrial base -- the new foreign direct investment (FDI) and the mining laws -- are expected to prop up foreign investment into the country.

Both laws, which are much awaited by the business community, are now with the Ministry of Legal Affairs for final vetting before announcement, Ahmed bin Hassan Al Dheeb, Undersecretary at Ministry of Commerce and Industry, told journalists on the sidelines of an event.

He said that presently, 100 per cent foreign ownership (outside free zone area) is allowed by the government, subject to an approval from the Cabinet. In the case of industries within free zones, the approval for investment ceiling is decided by the free zone authorities.

Al Dheeb, who was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the second investment seminar, said that the country is facing challenges in enhancing investments and new programmes have been introduced by the ministry to overcome these challenges.

In fact, Oman government has identified five sectors, including mining, for attracting investment for diversification programme in the Ninth Five-Year Plan period at a time when oil prices are declining.

Al Dheeb said that the country is facing challenges in attracting investment for industrial development.

Several efforts, Al Dheeb said, are taken to overcome the challenges and to attract investment into the country. These initiatives include a national programme for economic diversification called 'Tandeef.'

© Times of Oman 2016