On September 9, the United States Embassy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and ROP Customs delivered a U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Awareness Seminar. The program was held in the OCCI’s Salalah office. Over 50 government and private sector representatives heard presentations from Omani government officials as well as officials from the U.S. Embassy on the advantageous provisions of the FTA, including the structure of the Agreement and tools to use it. Additionally, the seminar included an ROP Customs primer for foreign-bound shipments and an overview of MOCI’s “one-stop shop” business registration process. The event highlighted the joint commitment of the U.S. Government and the Government of Oman to help their private sectors to take full advantage of the many important and mutually-beneficial tenets of the FTA.
On the occasion of the program, United States Ambassador Greta C. Holtz commented, “The FTA has been an important symbol of our strategic trade and political relationship since 2009. This awareness program will help business leaders and government officials rediscover the value of this comprehensive agreement. The key to the power of the FTA lies in understanding how it works and how to take advantage of it, which will permit the Omani and U.S. private sectors to reap the full benefits of its potential. That’s what this program aims to accomplish.”
The FTA went into force on January 1, 2009, and is responsible for a 50% increase in trade in goods and services between the United States and Oman since that time. The Agreement eliminates most import tariffs, provides national treatment for business ownership, investment, and financial services and increases opportunities for bilateral trade and partnerships. Outside of its agreements within the GCC, Oman does not have bilateral free trade agreements with any other strategic trading partners.