Muscat: Oman is keen to improve the business environment in the country and seeks support of the private sector to upgrade the services to international standards.
With the support of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), activities of the forum on improving business environment and enhancing competitiveness in Oman began on Monday.
The forum has been organised by the with the participation of more than 100 companies of different sizes (large, small and medium).
While opening the event, Faisal Abdullah Al Rawas, Chairman of OCCI Board of Directors, pointed out that besides highlighting business-enhancing efforts, the forum seeks to explore the views of the private sector to help upgrade services to global competitive levels.
In his exclusive remarks to Times of Oman, Al Rawas said: “The forum was held to strengthen the partnership between the government and the private sector and improve the investment environment in the Sultanate of Oman. We discussed ways to complement the efforts and initiatives made to promote investment and exports, improve and facilitate government services, and raise the competitiveness of the Sultanate of Oman at the regional and international levels.”
He added: “The efforts of the government to enhance the business environment were reviewed in various sectors of interest, and it included the financial sector, labour market, and the legislation system. Discussions were also held on the government’s initiatives over the past two years to attract local and foreign investments.”
Al Rawas said: “The views of the private sector on ways to improve various services were also discussed as the aim is to ensure an improvement in the performance of Oman on international indicators, in particular, those included in Oman Vision 2040.”
Speaking exclusively to Times of Oman, Dr. Ahmed Al-Hooti, a member of the Board of Directors of the OCCI, said: “This forum has been organised to discuss the business environment in Oman, its attractiveness to the local and foreign investors and standing up to the challenges facing the private sector, especially after the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the difficult economic conditions that the countries of the world went through, including the Sultanate of Oman.”
Dr. Al-Hooti also pointed out that the private sector today is suffering, therefore, the obstacles must be identified in discussion with the government officials to find solutions that could stimulate the business environment so that the private sector continues to grow positively.
He explained that there are speakers from all sides who put together a set of ideas and solutions to be submitted in the form of recommendations to the concerned authorities at the government to help get out of the current situation by reviving the private sector.
Dr. Al-Hooti also confirmed that there are negative aspects that have occurred in the private sector in terms of increasing production costs, not to mention that business is not as it was before the Covid-19 pandemic due to weakness in the volume of business as some sectors have been greatly hit such as building and construction materials and tourism sector.
He added: “The food security chain has also been hit by the widespread rise in prices around the world, including Oman.”
The forum is scheduled to draft proposals on the best mechanisms to improve the business environment and developing solutions to address challenges facing business practice.
The proposals cover ways to realise economic mobility and lend support to all segments of the private sector. The first session of the forum will target executive directors of large companies operating in various sectors in Oman.
The second session, due to be held on 3 May, will target business owners of small and medium companies.