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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

New guidebook adds to ease of doing business in Oman

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The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion launched on Wednesday, September 2022, a new guidebook that offers local and international investors high levels of ease and convenience when doing business in the Sultanate of Oman.


The launch was held in the presence of Qais bin Mohammed Al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, and a number of high-level dignitaries and officials of the Ministry.


It serves as a one-stop reference manual designed to help investors as well as the business community to access as many as 180 services, distributed across 17 section-heads, provided by the Ministry via its Invest Easy portal.


The guidebook explains the pathway for accessing the Ministry’s services digitally. It spells out eight basic steps when accessing any service: the prescribed standards, required documentation, service workflow diagram, average time to generate a successful response, service fees and payment mechanism, other channels that provide the same service, working hours, contact points, and electronic contract documentation services.


During the meeting, he reviewed the electronic contract documentation service that was launched earlier in the year, which allows the completion of the investor's transaction electronically via video communication, and the signing of contracts electronically from anywhere through the "Invest Easy" portal, without the need for investors to attend the ministry.


This service is an important and advanced step in facilitating business and investment. It aims to enhance the Sultanate of Oman's international indicators with regard to the ease of starting a business. It also contributes to facilitating commercial institutions and companies wishing to sell their shares, transfer the ownership of the commercial registry to another investor, or enter a partner in the commercial registry.


The meeting dealt with the Charter of Corporate Governance for Closed Commercial Companies, through which the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion seeks, in cooperation with the Oman Center for Governance and Sustainability, to urge companies to invest optimally and appropriately for their capabilities and resources.


During the meeting, officials reviewed the electronic contract documentation service, which was launched earlier in the year. It enables the completion of the investor's transaction electronically via video call, and the signing of contracts electronically from anywhere through the "Invest Easily" portal, without the need for investors to come personally to the Ministry.


This feature is an important step in facilitating business and investment, as it aims to enhance the Sultanate of Oman's international indicators regarding the ease of starting a business, and also contributes to facilitating the establishment of commercial institutions and companies wishing to sell their shares, transfer ownership of the Commercial Register to another investor, or enter a partner in the Commercial Register.


Additionally, the meeting dealt with the Charter of Governance of Closed Commercial Companies, through which the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion seeks in cooperation with the Oman Center for Governance and Sustainability to urge companies to invest optimally and appropriately for their capabilities and resources; by creating a working environment based on responsibility, control and commitment, and based on clarity and transparency, whether in determining their objectives and strategic plans, or in the statement of the rights and obligations of each of its entities, or in the management of its relationship with investors.


Also during the meeting, the Call Centre at the Ministry provided an overview of its services in response to queries from businesses and investors. The Call Centre is also equipped to help callers complete some services related to their applications submitted electronically. The centres handled a total of 13,500 calls during the first six months of this year.


Importantly, the guidebook and other services are part of the requirements of the National Programme for the Digital Economy and the executive plan of the government digital transformation program 2021 - 2025 approved by the Council of Ministers. It comes within the framework of the comprehensive development of the services provided by the Ministry, transforming all its services into electronic services, saving time and effort for business owners and investors and creating a stimulating investment environment in the Sultanate of Oman.


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