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Oman seeks to benefit from opportunities offered by FTAs

Times of Oman, Oman

Oman seeks to benefit from opportunities offered by FTAs

19 May 2012

Muscat/ONA: Eng. Ahmad bin Hassan Al Dheeb, Commerce and Industry Ministry undersecretary for Commerce and Industry said that the council of ministers’ assignment of the ministry to prepare tables that identify the Sultanate’s commitments towards World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) came to enlighten private sector companies and establishments and the public on the benefits, advantages and disadvantages of those conventions.

In a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA), Eng Ahmad bin Hassan Al Dheeb said that the Commerce and Industry Ministry explores, in cooperation with other authorities, the ways to put the council of ministers’ resolutions into effect by marketing and promoting those conventions, whether through forums, lectures or meetings.

He added that since the Sultanate’s joining of World Trade Organisation and the signing of Free Trade Agreement with the United States of America, so far there is no impact on Omani products because before joining those organisations taxes imposed on imports’ customs duties were 5.0 per cent, and there are no taxes on Omani exports, therefore there is no effect for these conventions as the Sultanate continues to impose 5.0 per cent on imports.

Eng. Al Dheeb said that there are some products that got more than that percentage if they wanted to increase customs duties on imports, and that was due the competent negotiations of the Sultanate’s team in the World Trade Organisation where the Sultanate got some privileges that could well be in favour of Omani products.

He added that so far no any complaint reported to the Commerce and Industry Ministry about private sector companies being affected by such trade agreements, noting that there are some states that protect their products against Omani products.

The ministry had, however, and in cooperation with the supplier companies to defend Omani products and obtained verdicts in favour of the Sultanate and subsequently tariffs had been lifted on Omani products, stressing that the ministry has sued some decisions regarding raising of custom duties on Omani products by some states which declared their will to protect their products.

Eng Al Dheeb confirmed that the ministry is always ready to help any company facing difficulties as a result of joining the World Trade Organisation and the free trade agreement with the USA.