Omani crafts market hit by imports: Study

By Staff Reporter — MUSCAT: Jan. 21 – Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) has published a study on how the import of some products is adversely affecting Omani crafts market as well as the ability of traditional businesses to remain competitive. Badr al Ma’amari, an academic and researcher at SQU, said, “Studies have revealed the problem is directly linked to agreements under free trade or open market polices or because of the guidelines laid out by institutions such as Unesco, which are often based keeping in the mind the countries with large population such as India, China, and relatively smaller Egypt and Mexico.”

“The points do not take into account the smaller countries like Oman, but with a rich tradition,” he added. He said limited research has pushed these countries to find their own ways to promote traditional products, which has been followed by Public Authority for Craft Industries for the past ten years. Al Ma’amari felt laws should protect the traditional products and Omani craftsmen in general. The study observed that regulations with regards to domestic and international laws for intellectual property, standards of excellence, import of traditional Omani crafts and product classification criteria will effectively contribute to addressing this issue.