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On August 28, 2022 the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) held a welcome reception for their new Chief Executive Officer, Heather Redling. The event was hosted by the U.S. Embassy Muscat’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Jay Munir.

A buzz of excitement was in the air as OABC members representing over 50 companies networked and reconnected after the summer holidays. Ali Daud, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the OABC provided opening remarks highlighting the strong, fruitful relationship between the U.S. Embassy and the OABC before introducing Heather. In her speech, the new CEO focused on the power of the organization’s members in making the OABC, the best business networking group in Oman. Heather also spoke to maximizing the newly formed partnerships with AmCham MENA and AmCham GCC and new initiatives to increase commercial activity between the United States and Oman.

 

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The event was catered by Cowboy Steakhouse and members enjoyed delicious American prime cuts of meat that were being grilled on site. The Cowboy’s team brought their fun cowboy vibe to the event, including their “fire show” to everyone’s delight. The evening was also supported by OUA and their new General Manager, Michael Wimmer with a generous beverage donation. And a few lucky OABC members won fantastic raffle prizes donated by Dusitd2 Naseem Resort, Jabal Akhdar and Cowboy Steakhouse.

 

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As the official affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Oman (AmCham Oman), the OABC promotes understanding, partnerships & other matters of mutual economic interest between business communities in Oman and the United States. Formed in 2003, the OABC’s mission is to foster the development of commercial activity between Oman and the United States. With more than 30 events annually and over 160 member companies, OABC is Oman’s most active business center and networking group.

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The GCC’S American Chambers of Commerce (AmCham) Officially signed an MOU amongst themselves that signifies unity across borders in upcoming events and collaborations.

AmCham strives to discuss and pursue common commercial interests and maintain relations with
commerce and other commercial organizations. AmCham Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Oman and Qatar are committed to coming together and hosting events and initiatives as a consortium within the GCC, for the purpose of ensuring collaboration and building strong relationships amongst their members.

After two years of countrywide shutdowns due to the 2020 pandemic, there is no better time for this
announcement. Mere months before the FIFA World Cup, AmChams across the GCC continue supporting their members by hosting events and initiatives together for the benefit of their members and friends. If you are not a member of your local AmCham, it is not too late to take part in these upcoming awe-inspiring events. Contact your local American Chamber of Commerce today.

“The only thing better than being part of an AmCham as a member company, is being part of an AmCham network like this one, that connects companies regionally in a personal, professional way,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “Our members in Oman can connect with companies all over the region through their membership, and our staff teams can share best practices and methods together, or lead joint regional events to the benefit of all our members. It’s a win-win-win and we’re so excited to formalize what has already been an incredibly beneficial relationship with our regional counterparts.”

Click here to see the full article.

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The AmCham MENA Regional Council is proud to announce the joining of the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) as a new member organization, adding over 150 new member companies to the Council’s Membership, representing different sectors around the region.

The Oman American Business Center (OABC), also known as AmCham Oman was founded in 2003 to foster the development of commercial activity between Oman and the United States, and to support the Oman business community through programs and events focused on professional development, thought leadership, and high-level networking.

As the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman, OABC promotes understanding, partnerships, and other matters of mutual economic interest between business communities in Oman and the United States.  AmCham Oman hosts about 30 events annually and is considered to be Oman’s most active business networking group.

“Joining the regional Council of MENA American Chambers of Commerce is a natural step for AmCham Oman (OABC) to take as we continue serving our growing membership of companies in Oman.” says Ali Daud, President and Chairman Emiritus of OABC.  “This opportunity to be part of the MENA Council will provide strong connections in the region and support OABC’s mission of facilitating trade and commercial relations between Oman and the United States.”

In welcoming AmCham Oman to the AmCham MENA Council, AmCham MENA Council Chairman, and President of AmCham Egypt, Tarek Tawfik commented; “We are honored to have AmCham Oman join the regional family of the MENA Council. With the addition of AmCham Oman, AmCham MENA welcomes its 11th member country. Oman is an important country to the region and to the United States. Trade between Oman and the United States reached more than four billion dollars in 2021. With AmCham Oman, the AmCham MENA regional council will continue working on advancing interregional cooperation and promoting trade and investment between the United States and other countries of the Region”.

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MUSCAT, OMAN: In collaboration with Abdulredha Al Lawati Lawyers & Counsels (ALC) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC),  the Oman American Business Center (OABC) hosted “Oman’s Tax and Legal Landscape” on February 7, at the Sheraton Oman Hotel.

The session included a brief time of business networking over breakfast, followed by legal and tax presentations covering a variety of key topics, and ended with plenty of time for Q & A.

Speaker Abdulredha Al Lawati, Founder of ALC, discussed the current laws related to court processes and commercial practice.  His presentation was followed by PwC’s Ghalia Al Sharji, Tax Senior Manager, who covered Oman’s 2022 State Budget. Finally, Darcy White, Tax & Legal Services Partner discussed e-invoicing, personal income tax, regional trends, and the future of Oman’s tax legislation.

Events like this one are part of OABC’s overall mission to facilitate trade and investment between Oman and the USA, and to support ease of doing business in Oman”, says Ali Daud, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of OABC.  “Oman is moving towards its Vision 2040 and more changes affecting the private sector will certainly come.  We are proud to partner with firms like ALC and PWC and host sessions that keep our members informed about key developments across all sectors.”

“The past few years have seen a big shift in the global tax landscape in terms of how countries are expected to tax, record and report on resident entities and individuals,” says Darcy White, Tax Partner at PwC Middle East Oman. “Global influence on local tax policy is greater than ever before, fueled particularly by the OECD’s Inclusive Framework on BEPS, which Oman is a member of. The BEPS Project brings with it significant compliance requirements to meet multilateral cooperation objections. This coupled with the increased focus on taxation in Oman’s Vision 2020 and the 2022 Budget means that taxable entities will need to ensure they are “tax ready” for the future. This doesn’t just mean ensuring they are aware of compliance matters, as with the introduction of new taxes and compliance requirements, for example, e-invoicing. Being tax ready also means ensuring entities have the right policies and systems in place to meet the Government’s reporting obligations.”  

“The last couple of years have shown the government’s efforts to confirm its clear intention to develop the country forward under Vision 2040, ” says Abdulredha Al Lawati, Founder of ALC Lawyers & Counsels. “Over 100 Royal Decrees were promulgated in the last two years and most of those decrees were issued to facilitate the investment environment in Oman and promote opportunities within the country. The issued Royal Decrees were not covering the businesses only, but it also restructured the systems in other wide areas. Due to the increase of the cases post-COVID, the government has deeply considered the Courts’ procedures. The Law Simplifying the Process in Some Cases (RD 125/2020) has created wide differences in the practice. Minimizing the duration before the courts was a fundamental change. Further, the promulgation of the Commercial Companies Law and Foreign Investment Law was a great area which the government aims to develop. Removal of minimum capital and providing expats the chance to set up their business independently was the main aim of these laws.”

“They say the only constant in life changes, and this is certainly true in business as well,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “It’s essential for all companies to stay updated with key information about recent changes and expert predictions about where things are headed, especially in key areas with huge implications on their business, like legislation and tax.  We’re thankful to our sponsor and partner ALC for co-hosting this important event and shining a light on many different aspects of Omani law, and to the team at PwC for their partnership and expert presentations.”

Members of the OABC who attended the event were invited to receive a complimentary short consultation with ALC and/or PwC if desired, as a further benefit of OABC membership.

 As the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman (AmCham Oman), the OABC promotes understanding, partnerships & other matters of mutual economic interest between business communities in Oman and the United States.  

 Formed in 2003, the OABC is the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman. OABC’s mission is to foster the development of commercial activity between Oman and the United States.  With more than 30 events annually and over 175 member companies, OABC is Oman’s most active business council and networking group.

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MUSCAT, OMAN: Oman’s most active business networking organization, the Oman American Business Center (OABC), hosted “Linked In Hacks” for member executives on Wednesday, January 12 at the Royal Tulip Muscat Hotel.

The session was designed to equip professionals from companies within the OABC looking to level up their own Linked In skills and techniques but was especially directed towards sales, business, development, and commercial roles engaged in B2B marketing. Unlike OABC’s first Linked In session hosted in 2020, this more advanced workshop required attendees to have prior experience on Linked In and an existing account on the platform.  OABC member and presenter Mohammed Al Tamami, known as one of Oman’s top digital stratagists, covered a variety of ways to “hack the system” and get posts seen, liked, shared, and noticed by the right people, creating new opportunities to do business.

The workshop included a brief time of networking and coffee, a presentation, and time for Q & A.

Tamami says, “Linked In, similar to any social media tool, requires utilizing a certain etiquette and specific methods in order to access the wealth of resources it can bring to us. Sharing my experience with others through OABC’s last Linked In session for members made a big difference to those who are now actively using it, and this inspired us to hold more such workshops. The focus of this event was to focus on that B2B and B2C sales aspect of Linked In: what to remember, what to avoid, and examples for those involved in online relationship building with clients.”

“One thing we’ve learned from the COVID-19 era is that sometimes without warning, our online life takes front and center and the physical is no longer easily accessible,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “Linked In was a useful resource before, but now it is an essential platform for those in corporate roles. Its use is growing daily in Oman as a place to explore new connections, vet people before you meet them, or present oneself and one’s services to the business community.  Creating an effective personal and business profile can open new doors for both new professionals and those who’ve been in the business community for a long time.  As Oman’s largest and most active networking group, OABC is focused on supporting the relationships between member companies both online and in person.  We’re thankful for Mohammed Al Tamami for his time in preparing the session, and for his great passion in equipping others to excel in their own online networking.”

As the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman (AmCham Oman), the OABC promotes understanding, partnerships & other matters of mutual economic interest between business communities in Oman and the United States.

Formed in 2003, the OABC is the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman.  OABC’s mission is to foster the development of commercial activity between Oman and the United States.  With more than 30 events annually and over 165 member companies, OABC is Oman’s most active business council and networking group.

Mohammed Al Tamami is a Media Planning & Strategy graduate who spent 10+ years of his career working on global consulting and advisory assignments on innovation, technology and strategy, and is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of a young and upcoming financial technology start-up that provides AI-driven capabilities for the financial services industry.

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Muscat, Oman: On December 14th, the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) hosted its 2021 Biennial General Meeting and Board Elections at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Qurum. During this event, OABC leadership presented the organization’s progress over the past two years and announced the outcome of the 2021 OABC Board Elections. Guests and attendees included OABC company members, VIPs from the Oman business community, and representatives from the U.S Embassy.

 Seven members of the OABC were elected to serve on the Board. Four members maintained ex-officio or permanent seats including Ali Daud, Chairman and Founder of the OABC; Emmee Haun, Co-founder of the OABC; Fouad Eid, Vice-President of the OABC; and Gary Schumann, Chief Commercial Officer at the US Embassy in Muscat.

 The seven members elected to the Board of Directors include reelected members Marla Valdez: Principal, Valdez SPC; Paul Murphy: Grand Hyatt Muscat, General Manager; Shayan Sumar: Apex Transgulf Manufacturing LLC, Director of Operations; and Talal Al Subhi: Rohn Products International Arabia LLC, Executive Director.  Newly elected members include Mohab Ali Al Hinai, Sustainable Investments LLC, Co-founder; Nourah Yousef Mustafa Mehyar: Nafith Logistics, CEO, and Samir Messaoudi: Sheraton Oman Hotel at Marriott International, General Manager.

“There are more member companies in the OABC today than there were at our last Biennial General Meeting in December 2019,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC.  “This is just one indicator showing that OABC did not merely survive the pandemic as a business organization, but we have grown together as a network committed to enhancing Oman’s business environment, connecting business leaders from every sector in Oman, and fostering bilateral trade between Oman and the United States.”

As the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman (AmCham Oman), the OABC promotes understanding, partnerships & other matters of mutual economic interest between business communities in Oman and the United States.  

 Formed in 2003, the OABC’s mission is to foster the development of commercial activity between Oman and the United States.  With more than 30 events annually and over 160 member companies, OABC is Oman’s most active business center and networking group. 

 The Oman American Business Center (OABC) is known for its advocacy on behalf of Oman’s private sector, and for hosting high-level professional networking events and informational sessions for professionals across the Sultanate.

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On December 12, OABC’s Corporate Members The Business Year hosted a high-level panel discussion under the patronage of H.E Qais bin Mohammed Al Yousef: Oman Vision 2040: The Future of Investments.

Thank you to The Business Year for our partnership, and for creating an opportunity to join an incredible group of stakeholders for a key discussion about Oman’s Vision 2040. We were also thrilled to see more than 60 OABC member registrations.

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MUSCAT:  The United States and Oman are celebrating 12 years of trade under the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement (FTA), a bilateral accord that lowers trade barriers between the two countries.  Since taking effect in 2009, the FTA has benefitted both countries by boosting trade and investment and creating jobs.  Despite its success, the FTA remains an untapped resource for companies in both Oman and the United States.  The Oman American Business Center (OABC), in partnership with the U.S. Embassy to Oman and the Omani Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (Tejarah), launched a video campaign this week to raise awareness of the FTA and encourage more firms to take advantage of it.

Titled “Success Stories of the U.S.-Oman FTA,” the video seeks to raise awareness of the FTA by introducing viewers to companies that operate in Oman and have successfully exported products for sale to the United States duty free, imported products from the United States duty free, or otherwise benefited from the FTA.  Funded by a grant from the U.S. Embassy, and in partnership with the Tejarah, the video features remarks from Omani Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion H.E. Qais Al Yousef, United States Ambassador to Oman H.E. Leslie Tsou, and OABC Chairman Emeritus and President Ali Daud.

“The FTA has greatly benefited Omani companies, as well as U.S. and international firms,” Daud said.  “But it is important to remember that the Free Trade Agreement has also increased the overall amount of [Foreign Direct Investment, or] FDI into Oman and created opportunities and jobs for Omanis over the past 12 years.”

“The United States is the world’s largest economy, and Oman is one of just 20 nations — and two in the GCC — that enjoys free trade in this unique way.  We are very excited to shine a spotlight on just a few of the many success stories of the U.S.-Oman FTA and look forward to inspiring similar stories in the years to come,” Daud said.

Ambassador Tsou encouraged more Omani and American companies to take advantage of the FTA, whose many benefits include duty-free treatment of goods and a no-minimum investment requirement for new businesses.  “The FTA is a pillar of the strong economic partnership between our two countries and provides opportunities to expand prosperity for companies large and small in both Oman and the United States,” she said.  “The Embassy is working closely with the Omani government, the OABC, and other business organizations to strengthen the FTA to benefit both our economies.”

As part of Tejarah’s goals to attract investors and spotlight opportunities for companies in Oman, the video will be shown at the Oman Pavilion at EXPO 2020, attracting the attention of millions from around the globe.

Commenting on the FTA anniversary, HE Qais Al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry & Investment Promotion said: “On this the 12th anniversary of the Oman–U.S. free trade agreement, we celebrate not just this landmark agreement but also the longstanding relationship between our two countries – one that began back in 1840 when Sultan Sayyid Sa’id bin Sultan sent his special envoy, Ambassador Ahmad bin Na’aman Al Kaabi, to New York to cement trade ties between Oman and the United States.”

The Minister added: “The friendship between us is not the only reason American businesses choose to invest in Oman – also playing an important role is the strength of the sultanate’s competitive offer, its pro-business government, strategic location, seamless access to regional markets, world-class infrastructure, skilled talent and the strength and ambition of Oman Vision 2040, the sultanate’s blueprint for social and economic development.”

VIPs, OABC members, and representatives from Oman’s public and private sectors will be the first to preview the video at an inaugural event in early December.  Once released, the video series will be available at www.oabc.org/fta.

About the OABC

The Oman American Business Center (OABC) was founded in 2003 with a mission to foster the development of commercial activity between Oman and the United States, promote U.S. business, and support the Oman business community through programs and events.

As the official affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Oman (AmCham Oman), OABC promotes understanding, partnerships and other matters of mutual economic interest between business communities in Oman and the United States.  The focal endeavor of the OABC is to provide a forum for the exchange of insights, information, ideas, and direction with respect to increasing trade, commerce, and investment between the two countries.

Every year, the OABC has around 30 events focused on knowledge sharing, business opportunities and challenges, legislative changes and networking within the Oman business community.

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October 20, 2021- MuscatDaily published an article titled “US-Oman Bilateral Trade Surpasses $2bn This Year.” Trade between Oman and the United States grew drastically over the last year. An increase in trade shows an increase in the relationship between the two nations. This is the best time to strengthen the relationship between Oman and the US by establishing an Omani commercial presence in the US for exporters to navigate the market.  Oman is one of only two GCC countries that has a free trade agreement with the United States.

Bilateral trade between Oman and the United States has seen significant growth since the end of 2020, according to the figures released by the US Census Bureau.

Total trade between the US and Oman reached over US$2bn as of the end of August 2021, surpassing the total trade recorded for the full year 2020.

This year Oman is running a trade surplus of US$151mn with the United States, according to the latest figures. In 2020, the top Omani exports to the US were aluminum, plastics, chemicals, other commodities, and goods in transit to Canada.

“In January 2021 alone, the US imported over US$200mn worth of Omani products,” Ali Daud, president and chairman emeritus of the Oman American Business Council (US Chamber of Commerce affiliate in Oman), said in a press statement.

“This is more than twice the average we’ve seen in the past ten years. The trade surplus is a very healthy indication that the world’s largest economy, with which Oman has a unique trade agreement, is buying Omani products,” Daud said.

He emphasized that the time is now to strengthen the relationship further by establishing a commercial presence for Oman in the United States. “This will make it easier for Omani exporters to navigate and penetrate the US market. Oman is one of only two GCC countries that have free trade agreements with the US. As a nation, Oman should build on this impressive growth in 2021, and take this success to even greater heights.”

The US Ambassador to Oman H E Leslie M Tsou said that the increased trade is a sign of the overall strength of the US-Oman relationship. “The partnership between our countries is rooted in strong historical ties of friendship, bolstered by a flourishing economic relationship.”

“We see this increase as a sign of Oman’s desirability as a destination for US investment,” she added.

The Oman American Business Center (OABC) was founded in 2003 with a mission to foster the development of commercial activity between Oman and the United States.