'Direct import has revitalised commercial activity in Oman'

Energy Saturday 16/May/2020 17:21 PM
By: Times News Service
'Direct import has revitalised commercial activity in Oman'

Muscat: Many officials have affirmed that direct import contributed to stimulating the movement of economic and commercial activity in the Sultanate.
It also allows for the diversity in the supply and competition in prices.
They praised the measures taken by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the authorities concerned with direct import in the ports, in light of the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).
They emphasised that a number of traders and owners of small and medium enterprises, companies and local agents have imported these products directly from the country of origin, which allowed the local consumer multiple options and different products at competitive prices.
They added that direct import contributes to reducing the cost and ensures the arrival of the product with high quality, especially in exceptional cases.
It also helps in operating the Omani ports in a way that pushes forward the wheel of the local economy.
Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Abri, CEO of Marafi said: “The Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Marafi are partners in all operations, as these ports are outlets that facilitate the import and export of raw materials and various products, as the activity of these ports positively reflected on commercial and industrial activity in the Sultanate.”
“Marafi prepares the services of its ports and encourages all dealers to use direct import and export through packages of incentives that include price reductions and ease of clearance. The company recently developed direct lines to support the local market with vegetables, fruits, foodstuffs and others,” he added.
He explained that there are a number of procedures carried out by Marafi, which include coordination with the source ports to take the necessary precautions in handling, and then the general spraying of all containers is carried out.
“Upon the arrival of the ships, a Coronavirus-Free Certificate, issued by the Ministry of Health, is issued, and the containers will be sprayed again before being transported to the market. No manual handling is used during the process,” Dr. Al Abri pointed out.
He indicated that the Omani experience in direct import, though late, is successful, but it is still a long way ahead for us to reach the ambition that makes the Sultanate an importer, exporter and re-export centre for other countries in the region.
Dr. Al Abri stressed that the process of re-export needs factors, the most important of which is the increase in direct shipping lines and the formation of a maritime transport network to several countries.
He added that the other issue is the establishment of collection, storage and manufacturing centres close to the ports, which give those who wish to re-export the opportunity to utilise these factors, in addition to benefiting from the value-added operations of their goods before re-exporting them.
The CEO of Marafi said “There are many advantages of direct import for traders, including the rapid arrival of goods and the reduction of prices. In addition, this contributes to the activating of Omani ports and achieving the best prices for the local consumer.”
Ahmed bin Abdul Karim Al Hooti, member of the Board of Directors of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and head of OCCI's Economic Committee, said, "The direct import came on time after the completion of all the basic facilities that the Sultanate needs, such as the ports in the south or north of the country, as well as the government and private stores to absorb the large quantities that come from different countries of the world to the Sultanate.
"The time has come to open Omani ports for the two directions in the sense that it is not only for import but for export and re-export. It is necessary to encourage Omani factories to produce more high-quality products and exporting them to different parts of the world. On the other hand, it is also necessary to find markets to re-export them, such as the Yemeni, Somali, Djiboutian, Iranian, Pakistani, and other markets, in addition to the GCC markets.”
He added that the direct import has activated the Omani ports. Although the conditions would have made the ports weak and in a state of recession, the direct import contributed greatly to the movement of commercial activity in the Sultanate, he furthered.
Meanwhile, Said bin Abdullah Al Kharousi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Omani Farmers Association, said, "Direct import is of great importance as it reduces the cost and guarantees the arrival of the product with high quality, especially in exceptional cases. It contributes to activating the Omani ports, which in turn pushes forward the wheel of the economy.”
Al Kharousi added that direct import has many benefits, such as the diversity of products from more than one country, and therefore leaves the consumer with several options to choose from, in addition to the competitive prices and high quality.