Oman Needs more Reforms to Attract Foreign Capital
Oman should introduce more economic reforms to support its efforts to attract foreign investors to its oil-dependent economy, economists and bankers said.
Several factors were still hampering the sultanate's push to attract more foreign capital despite big strides in power sector privatization, Anthony Wright, chief executive of Oman International Bank was quoted as saying by the Gulf News.
"Oman is attracting some foreign funds for its power sector but the country needs to reduce red tape and relax labor laws to be more competitive," he said.
"You still have to go to so many offices to set up a business here and that puts off many investors. Officials need to cut down on paperwork to speed up the process."
Oman has implemented several reforms in its bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), including increasing foreign ownership up to 70 percent and reducing corporate tax.
It joined the organization last year and it appears keen to privatize its economy away from oil dependence.
Oman's economic performance improved significantly in 1999 due largely to the mid-year upturn in oil prices.
Oman issued in 1997 a law to attract foreign investors.
According to the law, investors enjoy the following: provision of soft loans with low interest rates and easy payback periods, exemption from customs duty on import of plant and equipment and relief from customs duty on raw materials for up to 10 years -- Albawaba.com
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