Oman’s efforts to develop its non-oil related exports came under the spotlight in Muscat on October 27 and 28, at a seminar on export marketing in states of the European Union member states.
The seminar, which was organized by the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry in conjunction with the British Arab Chamber of Commerce, was opened by Darwish bin Ismael al-Balushi, the under-secretary of the Oman ministry of finance, who provided participants with a profile of the sultanate’s export position to date.
According to the Oman Daily Observer, Al-Balushi stressed that, to encourage foreign investment in export-generating industries, his government was acting to provide a legal and legislative framework that provides conducive conditions for free competition. The government also offers a range of other types of incentives, which encompass marketing and export activities as well as manufacturing.
In this respect, Al-Balushi said, the government had established the export credit guarantees agency in 1991, which by 1999 had provided guarantees for Omani exports worth 99 million Omani riyals (RO).
A year earlier, the government also created the Omani Center for Investment Promotion and Export Development to assist the private sector in increasing Omani origin exports to external markets by conducting market research and promoting Omani products abroad. These measures, the official said, were responsible for Oman’s non-oil-related exports climbing from RO 79 million in 1991 to RO 201.4 million in 1999.
Still, Al-Balushi said the volume of Omani exports to European Union countries was less than satisfactory. Nonetheless, he expressed hope that, with Oman becoming a member of the World Trade Organization, an improvement would now take place. — (Albawaba-MEBG)