Ithraa is a government-run agency tasked with the attraction and retention of business investment and the promotion of non-oil Omani exports. o We partner with Omani and international firms, government agencies and other stakeholders to provide investors with a single point of entry for information and serve as a focal point for investment in Oman and the export of the Sultanate’s non-oil products and services. o We assist Omani firms and government, at their request, to address regulatory barriers for domestic and foreign firms wanting to invest in, and export from, the Sultanate. o We co-ordinate with government agencies and businesses to provide services that help attract, retain and expand business investment in the Sultanate as well as increase the export of non-oil Omani products and services.
Ithraa is headquartered in Muscat and led by HE Dr. Salem ben Nasser Al Ismaily. We have a staff of over 100 seasoned investment, export, research, marketing and administrative professionals. We also operate 22 international representative offices in leading markets around the world.
Yes, Ithraa works very closely with local exporters and runs an annual visit program to Omani manufacturers which helps identify any export problems or obstacles encountered by companies. Field visits also give Ithraa staff an opportunity to brief local exporters on our activities and services. In line with the Directorate General of Export Development’s (DGED) export strategy a number of key markets have been identified for local exporters and these include: Yemen, India, Iraq, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, the US and the EU. Ithraa has also identified importers of Omani products in these countries and invites them to visit the Sultanate. In this regard, Ithraa organizes regular B2B matchmaking meetings which link Omani non-oil exporters with international importers.
To help domestic firms achieve their commercial goals, Ithraa runs a diverse range of domestic and international marketing, communication and PR activities that include seminars; B2B matchmaking sessions; an exporter working group; export and investment missions; participates in trade delegations and exhibitions; conducts market studies; hosts international buyers and offers a variety of online trade information designed specifically to help local companies penetrate and succeed in overseas markets. DGED pays particular attention to industrial sector studies in marketing and promotion. These play a key role and contribute greatly to increasing Oman’s non-oil exports. The following are recent studies undertaken: o Strategy for the Development of Non-oil Omani Origin Exports o Study on Free Trade Agreement between Oman & India o Trade Report between the Sultanate and other Countries o Market Entry Strategy Study for Omani Copper in India o Market Entry Strategy for Export of Omani Dates to India o Market Study on Fish Exports to Asian Markets o Study to Market Omani products internationally through international companies in Dubai o Product Market Studies for Yemen; Kenya; Tanzania; Zanzibar; Iran; Syria; Sudan; Libya; and India In association with the International Trade Centre (ITC), Geneva, Ithraa has created the Oman TradeMap – an information database that provides indicators for monitoring and benchmarking Oman’s export performance, identifying potential markets, product diversification and assessing the role of competitors in international markets. Also in partnership with ITC-Geneva, Ithraa published the Trade Secrets Document of the Sultanate of Oman. This Export Answer Book for SME Exporters, a unique, practical, result-based reference guide designed specifically for small businesses engaged in exporting products or services. The publication provides a comprehensive overview of export transactions from an operational point of view, featuring 148 FAQs regarding the export process for which answers are not easily found. Trade Secrets is also available on www…………and Oman is the first country in the GCC to publish such a document.
On the international front, Ithraa has 22 overseas representatives – all actively involved in promoting the investment opportunities on offer in the Sultanate. Our representative offices also promote Omani products and seek to find new market opportunities for Oman-made products and services.
Ithraa provides a variety of services to international investors which include, though are not limited to: o Providing information on Oman’s investment climate, laws, procedures, project specific information as well as introducing international investors to potential local partners. o Designing visit programs and matchmaking meetings for international investors. o Assisting with obtaining government approvals. o Reviewing project proposals prepared by investors and advising on an appropriate entry strategy for setting-up operations. o Assisting domestic investors identify potential foreign partners.
There are an array of incentives used to encourage investment attraction, these include, though are not limited to, the provision of land at competitive lease rates in specific locations, reduced utility charges and exemption from taxes. Exemptions from corporate tax and customs duties are granted to entities engaged in manufacturing, mining, agriculture, fishing, fish farming, fish processing and aquaculture, animal breeding, tourism and the export of manufactured and processed products and public utilities. Exemptions are granted for five years from the date of production or services first rendered. A five-year extension may also be granted subject to conditions. Foreign airlines and shipping companies are also exempt from taxation based on reciprocal treatment. Universities and tertiary institutes, private sector-run schools, training institutes and private hospitals are exempt from tax. The Sultanate also offers 100% foreign ownership with approval of Ministerial Cabinet. Moreover, and in accordance with Oman’s commitment to the World Trade Organization, approvals are granted for foreign ownership of up to 70% in most sectors on an automatic basis. As per the Foreign Capital Investment Law, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry grants licenses to applicants with a minimum paid up capital of RO150,000 (US$390,000).
International firms invest in Oman because we have an open and welcoming investment climate. Oman is one of the fastest growing economies in the Middle East, enjoys quality higher education, benefits from world-class infrastructure, has a strong and transparent financial and legal system, and offers investors one of the best lifestyles found anywhere in the world. We believe that investors in Oman enjoy the best risk-adjusted return on investment globally.
Absolutely. The Government has been very clear with regard the Sultanate’s openness to investment. The activities of Ithraa support this long-standing commitment, as the primary government agency tasked with attracting inward investment and the promotion of non-oil Omani exports.
No. Both domestic and internationally owned companies are treated equally in Oman and must follow the same laws, rules and procedures for acquiring or administering an investment. International investors benefit from an open, transparent and non-discriminatory investment climate. International investors will find free transferability of capital and profits, advanced physical and financial infrastructure, and non-discriminatory legal recourse in the event of an investment-related dispute.