Late 2005, Oman finalised an FTA with the United States, as part of the US’ plan to reach an all encompassing Middle East Free Trade Agreement. It was signed in Washington on 19 January 2006. While the text is still going through the ratification processes, major US corporations are lining up to benefit including Halliburton, Bechtel, Microsoft and Dow Chemical.
The FTA was ratified in June 2006. Companies like Dow Chemical hailed the agreement as it would open doors for them to expand their petrochemical operations in the Sultanate.
The deal entered into force in January 2009 after being delayed supposedly because Oman was dragging its feet on changing domestic laws on telecommunications and software.
last update: May 2012
The Sultanate of Oman has expressed hope that the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with the USA, for which negotiations are to start on Saturday, would be concluded before the end of this year to give a new edge to Oman’s liberal economy in an era of globlisation.
Oman will sign a free trade agreement with the US in July, its Trade and Industry Minister Maqbool bin Ali said yesterday.
Maqbool bin Ali Sultan, minister of commerce and industry, yesterday cited two reasons for the Sultanate’s decision to begin negotiations for a free-trade agreement with the US. He was addressing Omani businessmen, private sector officials and representatives of the companies operating in the Sultanate during a meeting at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Bush administration said on Monday it would begin free trade negotiations with Oman, as well as the UAE, as part of Bush’s efforts to promote economic growth in the Middle East.
A joint meeting between the Sultanate of Oman and a US trade delegation headed by Robert Zoellick was held in Muscat yesterday to review a free trade agreement, which is expected to be signed in 2005.
Maqbool bin Ali Sultan, minister of commerce and industry, will lead the Sultanate’s delegation to the first meeting of the Omani-American Council for Trade and Investment scheduled to be held in Washington today.
The United States and the Gulf state of Oman July 7 signed an agreement aimed at promoting bilateral trade and investment and agreed to begin free trade negotiations later this year.