Oman’s primary economic institutions are aiming to improve the business environment in Oman in a bid to boost private sector involvement and foreign direct investment.

“The government will remove all difficulties to help encourage investment in Oman’s development,” said Faisal bin Turki al-Said, director general of marketing and media at the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (PAIPED), at MEED’s Oman Investment Forum 2012 in Muscat.

PAIPED was formed in 1997 under the name of the Omani Centre for Investment Promotion and Export Development (OCIPED), and is a government-operated authority aimed at increasing investment in Oman and developing the sultanate’s export market.

The importance of increasing foreign investment was also stated by the executive president of the Central Bank of Oman, Harnood Sangour al-Zadjali.

“Foreign direct investment is very important to future infrastructure needs and diversification of economy,” said Zadjali.

Speaking at the MEED forum, Zadjali outlined the sultanate’s goal of boosting the role of the private sector in Oman’s development plans.

“Oman is committed to a policy of open market economy based on free competition in which the private sector is encouraged and facilitated to play a leading role.  The policy is to encourage foreign capital that will enhance the overall development of the country,” said Zadjali.

Zadjali pointed to liberalisation of the sultanate’s Foreign Capital Investment Law as an example of the government’s commitment to encouraging foreign participation in Oman’s development programme.

“It now permits 70 per cent foreign participation in companies in most of the sectors and even 100 per cent foreign capital investment is permitted for projects of national importance,” said Zadjali.