Muscat: The National Programme for Investment and Export Development, 'Nazdaher,' has unveiled promising outcomes in Oman's investment sector, showcasing significant progress achieved through the active collaboration of key stakeholders in the industry.
Over the preceding two years, the Nazdaher team has diligently partnered with the public and private sectors to enhance the business environment and successfully address numerous challenges investors encounter.
Furthermore, the team worked to identify investment priorities for various economic sectors, empowering them to achieve their specific targets by 2025. Additionally, efforts were dedicated to cultivating opportunities within each, ensuring they are meticulously and seamlessly prepared for presentation to potential investors. The Nazdaher team put in significant effort to enhance the foreign trade sector, focusing on refining its performance and leveraging the strategic location of the Sultanate to transform it into a regional export and re-export hub.
Expressing his satisfaction with the milestones achieved within each of the Program's pillars at the level of the business environment, the investment sectors, and the development of foreign trade, Khalid Al Shuaibi, President of Nazdaher, stated, "The programme has accomplished numerous milestones across various fronts. We are confident that Oman's investment ecosystem is now in a strong and competitive position globally. In the upcoming period, we will pursue implementing several initiatives to maximise our efforts' outcomes. We will focus on attracting the desired investments in line with the specific targets set for each sector.
"Presently, the achievement rate stands at 68.9% of the investment target for non-oil sectors outlined in the tenth five-year plan (2021-2025). This progress is reflected across 305 projects, each valued at over OMR1 million. Currently, efforts are underway to analyse and enhance numerous investment opportunities spanning various sectors. Nazdaher consistently showcases a comprehensive and refined list of investment opportunities on an interactive investment map on the Invest Oman platform," Al Shuaibi further stated.
Initiated by the Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-Up Unit and supervised by the Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Investment Promotion, the Nazdaher programme commenced operations in late 2021. It is strategically centred on three pivotal pillars: the business environment, the investment sectors, and the development of foreign trade. The Program also oversees various tasks falling within its purview and responsibility.
In a concerted effort to elevate the business environment, the Nazdaher team worked diligently to align all stakeholders within the investment sector. Additionally, a paramount objective was to boost Oman's competitiveness on an international scale. Noteworthy among the initiatives undertaken recently was the establishment of the National Negotiation Team, which was given the authority to negotiate and confer incentives and facilities to investors.
Furthermore, the programme played a pivotal role in overseeing the inauguration of the Invest Oman lounge, designed to serve as the unified window for investors both within and outside the Sultanate. The team also developed the unified investment incentives guide for all economic sectors, including free zones, special economic zones, scientific zones, industrial zones, and small and medium enterprises. This comprehensive guide serves as a valuable resource, providing in-depth information about the diverse investment incentives offered by the Sultanate to potential investors.
The Nazdaher team also played a pivotal role in overseeing the establishment of the Fast Track Team in collaboration with the Invest Oman team. This dynamic team is tasked with thoroughly investigating challenges encountered by investors and designing innovative solutions to address them. Furthermore, the Fast Track Team actively supports the government in making strategic decisions related to these challenges.
On the other hand, Nazdaher's team of business analysts has successfully devised the National Matrix for Investment. Notably, the programme has secured an intellectual property certificate for this matrix. For the first time, this matrix offers a practical analysis to gauge the economic impact of investment projects in the Sultanate, incorporating international best practices for assessing the investment return on the Omani economy arising from these projects.
Furthermore, the evaluation process encompasses measuring the employment opportunities generated for Omanis, assessing the impact on the handling capacity of Omani ports, gauging the benefits accruing to small and medium-sized enterprises through project realisation, and determining the extent of local purchases from the Omani market during both the construction and operation phases. This comprehensive analysis is designed to assist decision-makers in determining the appropriate scale of incentives for investment projects and providing the necessary support for their successful realisation.
Regarding the development of foreign trade, the Nazdaher team successfully executed the executive programme for The Development of a Foreign Trade framework aimed at attaining international performance benchmarks. A total of 14 initiatives were introduced to optimise the programme's impact across three key pillars: developing exports, substituting imports, and maximising the strategic advantages of the Sultanate's location to strengthen its position as a prominent re-export hub.
"Recently, we established the Investment Targeting Team, which commenced operations in the current year's third quarter. The team formulated a methodology grounded in economic data and indicators to identify target markets that align with the nature of the economic sectors to be promoted. Concurrently, they developed a realistic, detailed work plan with a timeframe and specific outputs. Notably, the team successfully conducted over 100 meetings with potential investors, resulting in approximately 25 companies expressing interest in investing in the Sultanate of Oman. Moreover, discussions with six of these companies have progressed to advanced stages, and it is anticipated that these talks will culminate in the signing of investment agreements in the upcoming stage," stated Khalid Al Shuaibi.
He concluded by saying, "We are confident that the initiative is on the right trajectory to attract the necessary investments, thereby boosting comprehensive economic development and achieving the objectives of Oman Vision 2040 within the economic and development pillar. We extend our gratitude to all entities in the public and private sectors for their collaborative efforts over these past months. We will continue to provide support and facilitate a conducive environment for all stakeholders to collectively achieve the mutual goals of elevating Oman on the global map of major investment destinations."
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