From tomorrow, Oman prohibits foreign investment in some activities

Muscat: The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MOCIIP) said the decision to ban foreign investment in some activities will come into effect tomorrow.

As part of the efforts to protect the small Omani businesses and also traditional products related to national identity, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MOCIIP) has issued a decision 209/2020, which specifies the list of activities in which foreign investment is prohibited.

As per the decision based on the Foreign Capital Investment Law issued under Royal Decree 50/2019, the business will be limited to Omani investors.

Some of the activities operating within the tourism sector have been exempted from the prohibition.

It may be noted that to provide an attractive investment environment for investors, the Gulf investors will be treated as an Omani investor in practicing economic activities in the Sultanate, taking into account the economic agreement in force between GCC countries.

“In line with the priority given by the government to empower small and medium enterprises, the Omani investor can invest in all activities in which foreign investment is prohibited, and this list will also be updated according to the circumstances of each stage to keep pace with economic developments,” the decision said.

The Foreign Capital Investment Law has granted a number of incentives, privileges, and guarantees to non-Omani investors.

Article (14) of the Foreign Capital Investment Law promulgated under Royal Decree 50/2019 states that a list of activities in which foreign investment is prohibited to be issued by a decision from the minister.

Article 1 of the same decision also specified the activities in which foreign investment is prohibited, except for what is established in tourist establishments, such as washing all kinds of textiles, washing and ironing clothes with steam (dry washing), cutting and styling hair for men and children, and types of cosmetics for women.

Article 2 stipulates that investment projects existing at the time of its implementation shall be excluded from the application of its provisions, and it is prohibited to assign them to third parties without the written consent of the minister or his authorized representative.

Article 3 also stipulates that everything that contradicts this decision or contradicts its provisions shall be canceled, and the fourth article of the decision stipulates that it shall be enforced on the day following the date of its publication.

The provisions of the Foreign Capital Investment Law apply to every non-Omani natural or legal person who establishes an investment project in the Sultanate, by enabling his capital and assets to establish economically viable investment projects for the Sultanate.