MUSCAT, JULY 4
The Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) has shared details about applicable fees for more than 80 services provided by OPAZ in the various special economic zones and free zones affiliated with the Authority. It includes a 50% reduction in fees of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) as specified in schedule published in the Official Gazette.
This decision comes as an important step towards improving procedures, re-engineering operations and accelerating businesses. It reflects OPAZ tireless efforts and continuous support to enhance the local investment and business environment, stimulate economic growth, attract foreign investments, support SMEs and support the business sector in general by unifying and reducing fees for the services and activities provided to investors and establishments in the zones supervised by OPAZ.
This moves aims to complement the national efforts aimed at economic diversification and maximising the role of SMEs in establishing projects that play a vital role to support local economy, providing job opportunities, promoting innovation, sustainable economic development and financial stability in SEZs and free zones in line with Oman Vision 2040. This is done by reducing the challenges facing the investors, maximising the participation of local and foreign private sector, and improving the competitiveness of the investment environment in the Sultanate of Oman.
Moreover, the decision aims to simplify and re-engineer some procedures and licenses that reduce operating costs and achieve credibility through transparency in determining fees for the services provided by OPAZ and unifying them in the zones, defining performance indicators, ensuring consistency of the policies and processes as well as ensuring investors’ accessibility to comprehensive and accurate information about policies, procedures, fees, the balance between fees, quality of services, harmonising similar services in the different zones. Further, it serves creating a package of preferential packages that achieve integration between investments and government objectives towards employing the national workforce and developing SMEs.
The reduced fees in the special economic zones and free zones included those related to the procedures for commercial register, registration of contracts, licenses and permits related to conducting some business and commercial, industrial and tourism activities, investor work permits, environmental permits, urban planning services, construction and engineering affairs permits, and the issuance of certificates and documents, permits for service suppliers, government fees related to operation and investment, and others.
In this regard, Dr Said bin Khalifa al Quraini, General Manager of the Investment Development Sector, said the new package reflects OPAZ continuous efforts to improve the business environment, achieve sustainable economic growth, and enhance economic competitiveness and the relative value of the zones. He stressed OPAZ’s continuous endeavour to review and improve the fees for services and activities provided by the various zones, as well as to ensure providing speedy and efficient services.