Monday, November 12, 2012

US-Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Update

In a piece of good news for American businesses, the U.S. Embassy in Muscat recently announced that it has held successful talks with high-level officials at the Omani Ministry of Commerce & Industry regarding the ongoing implementation of the US-Oman Free Trade Agreement. The Ministry officials affirmed their commitment to extend ‘local’ Omani treatment to American companies as stipulated in the FTA, together with their commitment to monitor application of the FTA vigorously to ensure that such benefits are granted only to bona fide American companies and not to third-party nationals with no substantial business activities the United States.

In our experience, despite occasional implementation issues during these first few years of the US-Oman FTA’s existence, the FTA has already proven to be a significant boon for American clients doing business in Oman, by allowing them 100% ownership of an Omani limited liability company and lower minimum share capital requirements. The continued signs of high-level, bilateral commitment to the FTA are excellent news for American companies already doing business in the Sultanate and for those who are looking to do so in the future.