Commerce Ministry Reviews 2024 Plan, Focusing on Digital Transition
Commerce Ministry Reviews 2024 Plan, Focusing on Digital Transition

Commerce Ministry Reviews 2024 Plan, Focusing on Digital Transition

Muscat, 21 Apr (ONA) --- The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion has outlined its plan for 2024, which focuses on digital transition. The plan also lays emphasis on improving the quality services, cutting down costs, saving time and effort and achieving more flexibility at work.

The plan also seeks to improve communication, operational efficiency and improve customer service through the electronic platforms that the ministry has launched earlier.

This was unveiled during a media briefing organized today by the ministry under the motto “Digital transition roadmap”. The briefing was attended by Qais Mohammed Al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, Dr. Saleh Said Masan, Undersecretary of the Ministry for Commerce and Industry, Ibtisam Ahmed Al Farooji, the Ministry’s Undersecretary for Investment Promotion, and Pankaj Khimji, Adviser for Foreign Trade and International Cooperation at the Ministry, among other officials.

During the media gathering, the Ministry launched the Rapid Intervention Initiative at the call centre of Invest Oman Lounge. The initiative demonstrates the Ministry’s endeavours to enhance the business climate, notably through the detection of challenges facing investors and fast intervention to address the hurdles. The Rapid Intervention Window is managed by a specialized team that is fully prepared to serve investors. The team monitors the business environment and addresses all types of challenges posed to the investors.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion explained that the volume of foreign direct investments in the Sultanate of Oman amounted to more than RO 25 billion until the end of the third quarter of 2023, marking an increase of RO 4.8 billion compared to the third quarter of 2022. The volume of foreign direct investment in the converting sector by the end of the third quarter of 2023 amounted to more than RO 1.4 billion.

The industrial sector managed to attract 35 industrial projects with investments exceeding RO 800 million in several industrial activities in various industrial and free zones.

The total volume of trade exchange between the Sultanate of Oman and the countries of the world increased to about RO 37.6 billion in 2023. The total merchandise exports of the Sultanate of Oman reached RO 22.7 billion in 2023, of which RO 13.76 billion from the oil and gas sector, and RO 7.4 billion from the non-oil sector.

The contribution of the re-export sector amounted to RO 1.5 billion, marking an increase of 12.8 percent.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion affirmed that it set 29 initiatives for 2023, with 18 of the initiatives completed and implemented by 100%, with a completion rate exceeding 85%, confirming that 42 initiatives will be part of its plan for the current year (2024).

During 2023, Oman Business Platform was developed, as the number of digitized services in the platform reached 24 out of 27 services, representing 89% of the Ministry’s services.

The Ministry indicated that the contribution of the converting sector to the GDP (at current prices) amounted to RO 2.6 billion in September 2023, and the contribution of industrial activities amounted to about (16.7%), while the contribution of converting industries amounted to about (8.1%) of the GDP at current prices.

The Ministry pointed out that the launch of the “Made in Oman” campaign was aimed at highlighting national products available in the local market, promoting the logo of the new national product identity and encouraging industrial establishments to obtain their own licenses.

The campaign, explained that ministry, also aimed to consolidate the local consumer’s confidence in national products as a first choice and to establish a channel of communication and interaction between producers and consumers.

The media briefing touched on services offered through Invest Oman lounge, which caters to investors within the context of an integrated system focusing on investment in the Sultanate of Oman. The departments concerned include Oman Investment Authority, the National Programme for Investment and Export Development “Nazdaher”, the Investment Promotion Sector at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion and various government and private sector establishments. Through this programme, 14 government departments and 6 private sector establishments join hands to serve investors under one roof. Nazdaher comprises the latest programmes on facilitating and accelerating procedures.

During the event, the Ministry showcased a total of 51 endorsed investment opportunities offered via Invest Oman platform, with an investment volume exceeding RO 1 billion.

More than 50 delegations were received at Invest Oman Lounge, while a total of 3,722 individuals and companies contacted Invest Oman Lounge via its customer service system. As many as 3,433 investors from more than 60 countries obtained the “Investor Residency Card” until the end of December 2023, said the Ministry.

--- Ends/Bishara/Sooban