Majlis A’Shura Host Commerce and Industry Minister

Majlis A’Shura discussed today the statement of Dr. Ali bin Masoud al-Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry during the sixth regular session of the third annual sitting (2017-2018) of the eighth term (2015/2019) under the chair of Khalid bin Hilal al-Ma’awali, Chairman of Majlis A’Shura.

The statement included six themes tackling the ministry’s action plan and its executive program, the role of the ministry in developing economic diversification sectors in the ninth five-year plan, the legislative system and the agreements, industrial zones and free zones, the government’s efforts to improve the business environment and the development of small and medium enterprises to enhance their role in the policy of economic diversification.

Chairman of Majlis A’Shura pointed out in his speech that the statement focused on a number of topics, foremost of which is to shed a clear picture of the action plan of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and its executive program and its role in developing economic diversification sectors in the ninth five-year plan and the legislative system of the ministry, the agreements signed by the Sultanate as a member in the World Trade Organization (WTO ) to encourage free market policy and open up competition for the private sector.

Minister of Commerce and Industry discussed in the first theme of the ministry’s statement the growth achieved by various economic activities (trade, industry, mining and services) during the eighth five-year plan supported by high oil prices, especially during the first three years of that plan and stability of gas prices.

He explained that the ministry has been able to implement its most important program in the eighth five-year plan, namely, the development of Invest Easy and linked directly to the manpower systems, the Royal Oman Police and Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In the field of food security, the minister reviewed the most important indicators for the classification of the Sultanate in the report of the World Food Security Index 2017. According to the classification, the Sultanate was ranked (28) globally in 2017 out of 113 countries.

During the statement, the minister talked about the legislative system and the agreements. He pointed out that the Sultanate is pursuing, through its membership in the World Trade Organization, free market policy, as well as several agreements to open markets, the most important of which are the GCC, the Greater Arab Trade Agreement, Free Trade agreement between the Sultanate and the United States of America, the Free Trade Agreement between the GCC and the Republic of Singapore, and the Free Trade Agreement between the GCC and EFTA countries.

On the industrial estates and free zones, the minister said in his statement that the growth rate for total investments in the regions of the Public Establishment of Industrial Estates amounted to more than 6% during the first half of 2017.

On the improvement of the business environment and competitiveness indicators, the statement highlighted the competitiveness indicators of the Sultanate’s ranking in business performance released by the World Bank. The Sultanate have advanced in the business startup index to 32 in 2017.

The Minister spoke about existing programs and facilities for the development of small and medium enterprises in order to enhance their role in the Omani economy.

The members of Majlis A’Shura discussed the statement of the Minister of Commerce and Industry, where many topics were discussed, most of which focused on the Ministry’s efforts to improve the business environment in terms of legislations and technology, in addition to the necessity of economic diversification and focus on development objectives and the five-year plan. In this regard, the minister said that the most important priorities of the Five-Year Plan and the Oman 2020 Vision are to provide sustainable employment opportunities for Omanis.

The members of Majlis A’Shura noted the importance of enabling and expanding incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises, thereby enhancing their contribution to GDP.

Source: Oman News Agency