The economic partnership between Oman and the United Kingdom is strong and the growing interest among British investors in Oman market is encouraging, according to Qais bin Mohammed Al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP).

Speaking at the Oman-British Investment Forum on Monday, Qais bin Mohammed Al Yousef said: “The United Kingdom investors have shown growing interest in investing in Oman, particularly in the field of renewable energy.”

Organised by the MoCIIP in cooperation with the UK Embassy in Muscat, the forum reviewed investment opportunities in the Sultanate of Oman and ways to promote it as a global destination for investment in renewable energy, green hydrogen and technology.

His Excellency Qais said: “This forum comes in light of the interest in the British market, as it is the largest investment partner of the Sultanate of Oman. This partnership has expanded in the past few years to include several sectors, most notably oil and gas, technology, infrastructure and education. The United Kingdom is at the forefront in terms of foreign direct investment in the Sultanate of Oman.”

The Minister added: “Our Ministry aims to attract quality investments to the Sultanate of Oman through the Economic Stimulus Plan and the National Programme for Investment and Export Development “Nezdaher”, which analyses the investment environment for local and foreign capital, the challenges it faces, and the appropriate mechanisms for improving them.

“The ‘Invest in Oman Hall’ will be the one-stop point for any investor who comes to the Sultanate of Oman to introduce him to the investment environment, incentives, industrial, free and economic zones.”

His Excellency Bill Murray, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, referred to the areas of cooperation in the investment and trade sectors between the two friendly countries, calling on investors from both countries to enhance investment in the fields of energy and take advantage of Omani ports and economic and free zones in light of the advantages and incentives they offer to investors.

The forum came as a continuation of the role played by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion for the global promotion of the Sultanate of Oman, increasing its global market share of Omani non-oil exports and intensifying promotional efforts aimed at attracting investment, promoting exports and introducing the investment environment.

Earlier this year, Oman and the United Kingdom established a Sovereign Investment Partnership (SIP) with the intention to bolster their economic ties and increase high-value investments in areas such as clean energy and technology. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the UK’s newly formed Office for Investment (OFI) and the Oman Investment Authority (OIA) and the deal is indicative of the growing relations between the two countries as they seek to boost foreign investments in an effort to stimulate the economy in a more sustainable manner post the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also in June, the MoCIIP in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry had organised the ‘Oman Renewable Energy Conference’ in London, UK to promote the Sultanate of Oman as an international destination with potentials for investment in green energy.

The aim was to review the opportunities for investment cooperation in the renewable energy sector between the Sultanate of Oman and the United Kingdom.

Clean energy is one of the key sectors targeted by Oman Vision 2040 and the Sultanate’s national strategy for energy.

The economic ties between the UK and the Sultanate of Oman have expanded during the last few years to cover a number of sectors, mainly the oil and gas and technology sector, the infrastructure sector, defence sector and education sector.

The United Kingdom has topped the list in terms of direct foreign investments by the end of 2020 with total investments of OMR7.112 billion.

It is worth mentioning that the Sultanate has offered various facilities to attract investments. These facilities include updating the foreign capital Investment law and permission of ownership of 100% among other incentives and guarantees for foreign investors besides the launch of a programme for residence of investors for renewable five to ten years under clear controls and procedures offering the investor encouraging benefits and incentives.

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