Saturday, August 18, 2007

this is new..

Well, it seems some people high up in the 'food chain' are pretty pissed off because of a report made by the US State Department on illegal human trafficking and how the Sultanate of Oman has been ranked the 3rd in that alleged list.

Sure the report was full of contradictions, but were they all truly 'baseless' as the Oman Tribune reports? After all, we all remember the start of negotiations between the Sultanate of Oman and the United States of America federal government on the ongoing process of agreeing to what norms must be followed regarding the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. Where, the US 'attacked' Oman saying that there was no legal rights given unto the foreign workers as they are in the United States. Something, that the US was truly bent on having done.

The US-FTA was also an entrance towards the World Trade Organization for the Sultanate of Oman to help Oman gain international standards and status in free trade - as it did with the European Union.

Although, there are no known public cases of inhumane experiences provided for the foreign workforce, it does not mean that there are no cases. For we never hear of cases of murder, rape, theft, and drug abuse unless they hit the headline news provided by the Royal Oman Police's public relations department but there are definitely plenty of them out there. This - however - does not mean that there are any cases of such human torture and trafficking in the Sultanate of Oman because I wouldn't know where to begin to look.

Maybe the whole report was made by some wreckless employee who wanted to get finished with his day job for the day to come back home to his wife and children. Maybe it is the truth. All I can say is that there is a need to look further deeper into this situation before blindly defending those who are guilty.

You can read the whole article through this link.


muscati said...

FTA= Free Trade Agreement, not Financial Trade Agreement.

Oman has been a WTO member since November 2000.

Oman's FTA with the USA was signed in January 2006.

The two are not related. One is concerned with trade with the whole world and what kind of protection is allowed and what isn't.

The other is exclusively about Oman's trade with the US.

Balqis said...

but it was ratified by the congress in June and it was not easy and still must be implemented
That's why they always use it as threat

Sleepless In Muscat said...


Apologies for the mistake in the abreviations. I was typing it so fast that I never noticed it. I'll amend it accordingly. Thanks for pointing that out.

As for the part about Oman being a member of the WTO, I distinctly remember that when it entered the WTO it was given a 5 year observer gap so it may apply the changes needed to become an actual remember so when it came to 2006, it came into force by starting off with free trade agreements with the EU and the US. You cannot have free trade all at once with all the countries that are members of the WTO.

I remember this because I was at College still in those days and our tutor was teaching us the very subject.


Well, it looks like they're using the red card warning, now.

Balqis said...

Yes but the more Oman developes commerce with US and others, the more it will be far from monetary union.
Or maybe no one is really interested in it anymore ...

Sleepless In Muscat said...


Oman is no longer interested in the monetary union, remember?

It pulled out sometime ago.

Balqis said...

It pulled out ok
Now you tell me "we are no longer interested" [sorry if I often use "we" but I feel at home in Oman ]
That's correct : why being united with your fellow Arabs when we can be eaten by sharks from far
Silly me :P

Sleepless In Muscat said...


I didn't understand your question..


khalfan ali waow said...

hah what do you udnerstand anyway you are so busy typing som much nonsense that you don't stop to think for 1 second

remember quality > quantity

now delete this post like the crybaby you are

and then don't bother talking about censorship when you delete posts that correct your stupid thoughts and spread misinformation


Sleepless In Muscat said...

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No part of this blog shall be reproduced or copied digitally or otherwise traded or quoted or transmitted through any means without the proper authorization from the blog's sole owner. Any misconduct of any sort will resort to action and/or penalty taken against the perpetrator and possible legal action as carried out by local and international laws.

muscati said...

You are right about the 5 year observer status but you got your dates wrong. Oman was an observer for 5 years starting in 1995 and became a full member in 2000.

However, WTO is separate from any bilateral FTA agreements. Oman chose to pursue the FTA agreement with the USA on its own because the US refuses to negotiate with economic blocs. The EU on the other hand is negotiating with the GCC nations as a bloc to reach a trade agreement between the EU and the GCC. If you remember, Saudi Arabia was angered by Bahrain's decision to go for an FTA with the US because they wanted the GCC to take a common stance.

The question is how do the FTAs compare to the WTO agreement or do they conflict? That's something that I don't know and need to read up on.

Sleepless In Muscat said...


thats not the only question that needs to be answered. There is another question behind the motive of the US to negotiate its own FTA with different sets of countries instead of going through the WTO.

Since the WTO is worldwide organization, and it would be easier to get a more standard agreement that all countries would abide to, why then the US is not going through that channel?

muscati said...

Based on some quick reading here's what I gathered:

WTO is the successor to the GATT (global agreement on tariffs and trade). In WTO it is agreed how much a tariffs a country can impose on goods traded between and other members. It is also agreed how much or how little protection can be given to local industries.

In FTAs, on the other hand, the purpose and aim is a total elimination of tariffs and trade barriers. Hence, when Oman's FTA with the USA comes into effect, US goods will enter Oman with no tariff at all, and vice versa.

I found a very good article that explains this: link

(note the article is written from a Japanese perspective).