US-Oman Free Trade Agreement
First of all; why do business in Oman?
Highly stable, secure, and energetically pursuing foreign investment, Oman is part of the Middle East’s Gulf Cooperation Council, and has a developed civil and legal infrastructure, growing economy, and booming population. The economy is oil driven, with limited reserves relative to other Middle Eastern countries.
Vision 2040, the playbook at the heart of Omani governmental policy, centers around fostering economic competitiveness and stimulating growth, and especially attracting foreign direct investment in tourism, agriculture, logistics, mining, and manufacturing.
As a result, Oman has taken aggressive measures to diversify its economy and attract foreign investment, including:
- Entering into bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements with several countries
- Permitting 100% ownership
- Establishing several free trade zones
- Developing air and port infrastructure
- Granting tax incentives
Oman is one of just 20 countries in the world that has a free trade agreement with the United States.
This comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) provides numerous advantages to American and Omani companies seeking to engage in cross border trade, the key benefits being:
- Eliminating most tariff and non tariff barriers for Omani and American goods
- Enhanced protection and ownership benefits for investors – no local partner required
- Safeguarding intellectual property
Historically, American and international companies have faced challenges when entering the Omani market. They may have found it difficult to identify a suitable Omani partner, agent, or guide to help them gain access to the market, and further down the line companies often struggle with understanding Oman’s company registration process and obtaining appropriate licenses. From finding professionals – realtors, accountants, lawyers – who really understand the multi-national American culture and business style, to navigating visa issues and negotiating joint venture agreements – without a connection on the ground, it has traditionally been a struggle for foreign investors in Oman.
Similarly, Omani companies may face issues when trying to do business with American companies, both in Oman and elsewhere. Breaking through into the vast American market to enter into an agency or franchise agreement, identifying and getting heard by the US companies with whom partnerships would be most profitable – these vital steps to starting business relationships prove tough without solid contacts.
Cross Border Consulting has years of experience on the ground in Oman working with Omani, American, and international companies. With our unequalled depth of knowledge on the workings and benefits of the US-Oman Free Trade Agreement, and our deep and wide-ranging professional network, CBC helps businesses to navigate – and flourish in – the commercial landscape of cross border trade.