Non-oil exports grow 7 per cent

By: Hamood Al Mehrzi

MUSCAT: The Sultanate will set up investment projects to meet the demands and tap the available potential after the infrastructure has been complemented in all the governorates. “The One-Stop Station e-services will facilitate investments and thereby play an active role in attracting investors,” said Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry.

In the coming years the focus will be on food and entertainment projects as well as the existing petrochemical and mining projects, Dr Sunaidy said, adding that there is a three-pronged plan for shifting to e-services as technical aspects with banks are in place for e-pay systems.

The legal aspects have been completed through adoption of e-signature, while procedural aspects have experienced some delays and the government departments are required to give up part of their current remits to the One-Stop Station. Several government departments are willing to unify the licensing procedures through waiving of some authorities, Dr Sunaidy said. Speaking about foreign investments, the minister said that there is no need for investment projects which prove to be a burden on the national economy and fail to achieve added value or generate jobs for nationals.

Dr Sunaidy urged owners of the existing projects to expand the use of technology and shift to exports, adding that the non-oil exports grew by more than 7 per cent in 2014 owing to increase in use of advanced technology.

The minister said the capacity of Sohar and Salalah ports can meet the Sultanate’s requirements for a minimum of 10 years in addition to the Port Sultan Qaboos which is partly dedicated to commercial purposes.

The electricity and water sectors have managed to meet the needs of economic projects.

“We are currently working hard to facilitate investment procedures particularly commercial licensing. Last week the One-Stop-Station issued a number of electronic commercial registers as part of a plan to shift to e-services as one of the most important thing for investors is the speedy accomplishment of procedures.”

In order for us to effectively contribute to boosting the economy, all the parties have to cooperate in attracting investments in all wilayats as investments need to be welcomed by local communities and here comes the role of the municipal councils in facilitating the speedy approvals for tourism, industrial and fishing projects.


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