The Sultanate of Oman may gain accession to the World Trade Organization WTO) in November, a Commerce Ministry official recently remarked in Muscat.
"The working party report and the protocols of (Oman's) membership will be adopted (by WTO) on July 6," conveyed Said al Riyami, who heads Oman's WTO negotiating team.
In its plight to join the world body, Oman has enacted appropriate measures and introduces various reforms, including the removal of obstacles to trade, and the lifting of fees levied by import agents on imported goods. Oman has also moved to reduce the restrictions on foreign investment, as foreigners will be allowed to own 70 percent of a local business starting January 2001, compared to the current 49 percent maximum.
Additionally, the Sultanate will permit 100 per cent foreign ownership in certain financial services such as insurance, brokerages and banking, starting January 2003. Oman has pledged to step-up its fight against copyright law violations.
Meanwhile, Oman's revenues increased by 47.7 percent during the first four months of 2000, to OR 658.4 million, compared to OR 445.9 million during the corresponding period last year. The Ministry of National Economy attributed the surge to the 66.5 per cent rise in oil income due to hike in oil prices from OR 301.7 million to OR 502.3 million. Investment expenditures in the Sultanate fell by 2.1 percent to hit OR 117.9 million, while incentives to the private sector decreased by 12.3 per cent to OR 5.7 million. (OR1=$2.6).
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