Muscat: Oman is expected to sign an agreement for studying a new industrial strategy in two weeks, said a senior official from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The ministry is working on an industrial strategy which will be developed through the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Ahmed bin Hassan Al Dheeb, the ministry’s undersecretary, told reporters on Thursday.
A contract to start the study will be signed within two weeks, he said on the sidelines of an investment opportunities seminar held at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI).
New investment law
Al Dheeb also noted that a new investment law will be sent to the concerned authorities in two months for review and approval.
“We are preparing the foreign direct investment law which is prepared through (the) World Bank,” he said, adding that a draft version has already been sent to the government agencies and the private sector for review and feedback.
The draft is being finalised with the help of legal firms and will then be sent to other government departments for review and hopefully approval, the undersecretary noted.
It is the normal process of every new law, he pointed out.
Assurance for investment
According to Al Dheeb, the new law emphasises a lot on giving assurance for investments to foreign investors and it will also be very clear 100 per cent ownership is allowed in what type of projects.
Asked if there are any particular target countries to attract investment from, the official said that Oman is targeting everybody and all investors.
Some countries have expressed interest in establishing projects in the Sultanate and there are discussions with some neighbouring countries as well, he noted, adding that neighbouring countries are among the target markets to attract investment from.
During the investment opportunities seminar, production of polyoxymethylene (POM), acetic acid, isocyanates (MDI), cold rolled products and ceramic tiles were discussed as five potential areas for investment.
Al Dheeb said that the location of these potential projects would depend on the source of raw materials and whether the products can be exported or not.
Oman presents investment opportunities worth OMR150m
Industrial investment opportunities
Industrial investment opportunities worth an estimated amount of OMR153.65 to OMR159.42 million in total were presented at a seminar organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Thursday.
Production of polyoxymethylene (POM), acetic acid, isocyanates (MDI), cold rolled products and ceramic tiles were discussed as five potential areas for investment during the event held at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI).
The investment opportunities seminar was attended by Ahmed bin Hassan Al Dheeb, the ministry’s undersecretary, and a number of other officials as well as representatives of the business community.
During the first part of the seminar, Atif Elgozali, engineering expert at the industrial investment department of Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC), gave a presentation on five potential projects, saying that only preliminary studies have been conducted and more detailed studies will be done later.
According to him, the combined capacity of these projects reaches 345,000 tonnes per annum (TPA) and the proposed projects have the potential to provide 324 job opportunities.
The total area required for these projects is estimated to be in the range of 63,200 square metres, said Elgozali.
He added that the proposed projects are expected to add value to the locally produced chemicals, in particular methanol and benzene.
The return on investment for these projects ranges from 12 to 22 per cent, the expert said, adding that the break-even point as percentage of project sales for these projects lies in the range of 34 to 48 per cent.
The payback period for these projects will be in the range of 3.33 to six years, he pointed out.
In addition, Elgozali stated that several points were taken into consideration for the identification of the projects.
According to him, the project must be new and not implemented yet in the Sultanate. Its major inputs must be available in either Oman or other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
The proposed products should meet local, regional or international demand. There should be an opportunity to export the products abroad.
The proposed project will facilitate the industrial integration with the existing industries in Oman. Process technology should be available for licensing. The products and process should be environmentally friendly and the project should provide job opportunities for Omani nationals.
During the second part of the seminar, investment opportunities in the logistics sector were discussed.