Muscat: A total of 109 new industries were registered in the first half of 2013, according to records at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The number of industrial facilities reached 2,539 by the end of August 2013, with investments totalling OMR25,469,987,623.
According to Ali bin Saif al-Hadi, Secretary to the Industrial Registrar at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the industrial facilities are exempted from customs duties on imports, and income tax. Moreover, the labour required to run these is determined according to the size of the projects and actual needs.
Oman witnessed a significant development in the manufacturing sector and Omani products succeeded in attracting foreign investment into the industrial sector. The industrial activities contributed 16.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) at OMR4,967.0 million in 2012, while the figure stood at OMR3,883.5 million in 2011, with basic chemicals and oil products sector attracting the bulk of fund inflows.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry provides many incentives for industrial projects, such as granting an exemption from customs duties on imported machinery, equipment, spare parts, raw materials, semi-manufactured materials and packaging materials, and also exemption from income tax for a period of five years from the date of commencement of production.
Also, such projects are entitled to reduced electricity tariffs of 12 baizas per kilowatt/hour from the first of August to the end of March every year in the province of Dhofar, and from the first of September to the end of April every year in other provinces, while the tariff from the first of April to the end of July in Dhofar and from the first of May to the end of August in other provinces are levied at the rate of 24 baizas per kilowatt/hour.
In addition to these, they are offered discounted rents at the industrial zones in Al-Rusail, Sohar, Al-Ma'rifa Oasis, and Muscat.
Various industrial licences
Investors can apply for an industrial license to establish a new project or expand an existing one, or to move a project to another site as detailed below.
Industrial licence certificate
This certificate is given to the investor after getting approvals from the bodies concerned. It certifies the commencement of the implementation of an industrial project. Also, Industrial licence certificate for expansion is given to a project when it needs to boost the existing production lines or develop new production lines.
The licence certificate to move an existing factory is given to the project to relocate to another site.
The industrial registration certificate is given to the investor after ensuring the project is operating properly with a new industrial license certificate, a license certificate for expansion, or a license certificate for relocation.
Customs exemption certificate grants such units exemption from customs duties on imports, while income tax exemption certificate grants the units exemption from income tax for five years starting from the date of commencing production.
They are also entitled to get an extension for another five years.