The United States entered into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Oman on January 1, 2009.
The FTA allows US investors to wholly own their companies without requiring a local sponsor, although many choose to partner with Omani companies to leverage local expertise and to facilitate business.
This agreement represents an important tool to foster continued economic engagement and open opportunities for ports, businesses, farmers, manufacturers and many other service providers..
Under the market access provisions of the FTA, the United States and Oman provided each other immediate duty-free access for tariff lines covering almost all consumer and industrial goods, and 87% of all agricultural tariff lines. Both countries agreed to phase out all tariffs on the remaining eligible goods within 10 years (January 1, 2019).
The FTA contains trade facilitation measures designed to expedite the movement of goods and the provision of services between Oman and the United States; investment provisions intended to strengthen protections for U.S. investors operating in Oman, including allowing them to fully own a business without a local partner; and provisions on safeguards, intellectual property rights, government procurement, labor, environment, and dispute settlement to improve the regulatory climate for bilateral trade and investment.
The Preamble of the FTA is as follows:
– Recognizing the strong bonds of friendship between them and wishing to strengthen their economic relations;
– Recognizing that open and competitive markets are key drivers of economic efficiency, innovation, and growth;
– Desiring to create new employment opportunities and raise the standard of living for their citizens by liberalizing and expanding trade between them;
– Desiring to enhance the competitiveness of their enterprises in global markets;
– Desiring to establish clear and mutually advantageous rules governing their trade;
– Building on their rights and obligations under the WTO Agreement and other agreements to which both Parties are party;
– Affirming their commitment to transparency and their desire to eliminate bribery and corruption in international trade and investment;
– Desiring to foster creativity and innovation, improve technology, and enhance the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights;
– Desiring to protect, enhance, and enforce basic workers’ rights and to strengthen the development and enforcement of labor laws and policies;
– Desiring to strengthen the development and enforcement of environmental laws and policies, promote sustainable development, and implement this Agreement in a manner consistent with the objectives of environmental protection and conservation;
– Affirming their support for the participation of the Parties in the establishment of an expanded free trade area in the Middle East that would contribute to economic liberalization and development in the region;
Links about the FTA:
Recommended Attorneys in Oman (for American companies):
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