Muscat: Officials in the Sultanate of Oman have appreciated and welcomed the directives of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to launch an investment fund- the 'Oman Future Fund'. Their Excellencies described it as a distinct step in the interest of the nation and the promotion of economy and investment.

His Majesty the Sultan, may God preserve and protect him, presided over the meeting of the Cabinet Council yesterday, Wednesday, at Al-Baraka Al-Amer Palace.

It came as part of the directives of His Majesty the Sultan, may God preserve him, to launch an investment fund called Oman Future Fund with a capital of IMR 2 billion, with the aim of enhancing economic activity and encouraging the private sector to enter into partnerships or finance viable investment projects in the sectors of economic diversification targeted by Oman Vision 2040.

His Majesty - may God bless him - also directed the allocation of a percentage of the fund's capital to stimulate the system of bold investment in small, medium and emerging companies registered in the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority.

His Excellency Qais Al Youssef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP), commenting on His Majesty's directives to launch an investment fund, said: “His Majesty the Sultan's launch of the Oman Future Fund is an outstanding step, and an announcement to the local and international investment community that Oman is ready to be their safe and sustainable investment destination.”

His Excellency also explained that the fund is an important and advanced step within the measures taken by the government to improve the business environment, facilitate the start of businesses, and create an attractive climate for investors.

On the other hand, His Excellency Faisal Al-Rawas, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), said that the Oman Future Fund will increase the proportion of foreign investments, enhance international trade, and attract more investments and resources, which would increase the productivity and profitability of companies in the private sector.

He also stressed that the exclusion of small and medium enterprises from some fees helps to enhance competitiveness in the market, improve the commercial environment, provide an environment conducive to the growth of emerging and innovative companies, and increases the chances of success for small and medium enterprises in the market.

His Excellency Abdulsalam Al Murshidi, the Chairman of the Oman Investment Authority (OIA), said that the establishment of the Oman Future Fund comes in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, and embodies the goals and specialisations of the agency seeking to contribute to the implementation of government policies and strategies, and to stimulate the bold investment system in the Sultanate.

His Excellency also indicated that the approval of financing requests for projects will be done through a joint team between the Agency, the Ministry of Finance and any other party that is agreed upon, and the evaluation of investment opportunities on a commercial basis through the financial and economic feasibility of the project and its sustainability.

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