Thursday, September 28, 2006

FTA: Oman & USA

Just a few days ago, there was a small panic in the market due to the shortage of milk that is imported from neighboring countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. And only recently was the announcement of the final approval of the Free Trade Agreement between the United States of America and our government.

Now, during the course of the small panic attack that hit the market because of the previous shortage of milk products imported - which, by the way, wasn't really resolved because local dairy farms couldn't face up to the demand in the market that rose to 4 fold the original demand - the market stood at standstill because it couldn't face this small a challenge of something so minuscule a problem.

If this is the case with such a situation; then how is it that the government expects the private sector to face up to an economy as vast as the US?

Even though the government says that this FTA will allow further international investments from the US side, I still don't see how this will happen if the restrictions on international businesses remain as they are.

Yes, there are incentives. Such as 5 years tax free profits to help the business stand, some even get free land if it's a huge development, and other small helpings along the way. But after that companies are faced with an enormous 24% tax to pay up to local authorities for different purposes - tourism, muncipality, and service.

It would be in everyone's interest - of whom are interested to invest in the Omani economy - to set up a realistic, and very cautioned developmental business plan prior to embarking on the venture.



- Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry

- Ministry of Industry and Commerce