Recently at the seminar on the US-Oman FTA, organized by the Modern College of Business and Science in association with Franklin University, Dr Joseph McDonough, Attorney and Fulbright Scholar, who is in Oman performing research and teaching business and commerce law noted that there is an excellent opportunity for Omani firms to boost their trade with the US, especially in textiles and apparels, dates, metals and other industries, where significant partnership agreements could be forged with Omani enterprises.
According to him, businesses in the Sultanate must take advantage of the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to tap the enormous American market.
The free trade agreement requires Omani exports of textile and apparel products to contain no less than 35 percent Omani yarn and fabric in order to qualify for US duty-free treatment.
Also, several US manufacturers of medical systems and equipment are looking to forge business ties with Omani firms, and this could be a potential area of cooperation.
Oman offers the highest levels of protection in the world to foreign investors. A commendable step by the Sultanate is the Ministry of Commerce and Industry's Invest Easy, a one-stop shop that makes setting up businesses in Oman easy and quick.
Opening the seminar, Prof Ahmed al Naamany, the dean of Modern College, said many Omani entrepreneurs and firms are not aware of, or fail to appreciate, the advantages and benefits offered by the FTA between Oman and the US. They hope that more Omani companies realize the significance of the trade agreement and leverage the same to boost business.
The FTA, signed in 2009, strives to boost investment and trade between the two countries by significantly reducing tariffs, as well as non-tariff barriers, and ensuring protection of investors. Oman being on par with the US, in terms of intellectual property rights, labour and environmental standards, as well as dispute settlements, the Sultanate can easily build trade relations with the US. Oman has a largely transparent trading system that is comparable to that in the US.
Representatives of various government bodies, business managers, entrepreneurs and students attended the seminar.
Dr McDonough has been serving as a consultant to the Dubai Judicial Training Institute and the Oman Ministry of Justice, as well as assisting with the opening of the Higher Judicial Training Institute, is presently teaching law at Modern College of Business and Science.
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