There are certain crucial steps taken by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Investment Promotion to make business easy and simple. This include automatic licensing, or ‘Your Licence is Ready’ initiative. It has reduced efforts and procedures taken by businessmen to practice any type of economic activity. This does not involve any prior inspection from any party. They can start business and move to broader horizons.
There are also certain economic stimulus plans implemented in the Sultanate of Oman for diversification of sources of income, increase non-oil revenues and upgrade the national economy to levels which are consistent with the major developments taking place in the world. The most satisfying thing is that these steps make everyone feel responsible, while carrying out his or her economic activity without a licence. Instead, the licensing authorities directly come to the place where these activities are done to complete the procedure of giving licences.
There is no doubt that commercial licensing work has seen many changes since the launch of ‘Invest Easy’ portal where the procedure for licensing is completed in few minutes. This has certainly helped in carrying out businesses easy. As a result of the latest initiative, the Sultanate will make progress to advanced positions in ease of doing business indicators released by the World Bank annually and which has recently placed the Sultanate in top position in the Gulf.
Today, we see a new paradigm shift which is not only limited to ending of licences by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Investment Promotion. But it is also seen on the ground where economic activity is allowed without any licences. The authorities concerned themselves are approaching with ready licences or approvals required for such activities. This is being widely seen as a distinct service offered in the Sultanate through ‘Invest Easy’ platform. It allows any investors and business owners to start their activity automatically as soon as it is registered within less than a minute. This technological achievement creates huge confidence among investors who want to start commercial activities according to their own ideas and visions.
More than 1,500 commercial activities covering all areas which can be practised without prior inspection are 88 per cent of the total economic activities in the country. It is a major quality leap which will create an environment suitable for investment, business, and economic growth.
These steps make business owners act responsibility while starting their economic activities without any obstacles, inconveniences, or requirement of any prior approval from the authorities concerned. It reduces lot of financial burden caused while waiting for approvals and licensing. Earlier, business owners kept on paying rents, spent money on equipment and incurred other such expenses. It is so a huge financial burden that sometimes caused a business to close even before they are formally started.
Following the launch of this initiative, the annual meeting which the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion wants to hold with media professionals virtually will be an ample opportunity to learn about more on this and how it matches with the objectives of Oman’s Vision 2040.
Those who get licences electronically should abide by the terms and conditions as their responsibilities in public interests. They should contact the authorities concerned to tell them about their activities and the level which they match with the health, environment, safety and security related terms and conditions. This is required to make the national efforts a success while trying to improve the work related to business and take it further to higher levels.
We hope that ‘Your Licence is Ready’ initiative will prove to be a good gesture for the financial and business community in Oman. It will make everything easy for local and foreign investors and open wider horizons for it.