Generalizes on the best strategy to enter the market, e.g., visiting the country; importance of relationships to finding a good partner; use of agents.
Firms that have successfully entered the Omani market often have previous experience in the Middle East or a full-time in-country representative or office. An American company may wish to consider registering as a fully U.S.-owned company (as permitted by the FTA) to avoid profit-sharing and potential disputes with a local partner. However, a carefully chosen local partner can be valuable in terms of gaining entry to local markets and dealing with local bureaucracies.
Other considerations for firms include:
- An on-the-ground presence in Oman is an advantage.
- Personal relationships are key to finding and retaining a good local partner.
- Importers need to use agents or local shipping companies to clear goods if they do not have a local presence.
- Agreements generally require significant lead time and follow-up before finalization.
- Omanis appreciate flexibility in contract negotiations; for any concessions they make, they will expect to receive a concession on the American company’s side, regardless of that company’s size.
- The government often takes many months and, in some cases, years before awarding a contract.
- Importers must register with MOCIIP online through the Invest Easy system and must join the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
- Importers/distributors are most commonly used in the automotive and retail food business.
The U.S. Embassy Commercial Section can provide counseling, referrals, matchmaking, due diligence, and advocacy services.
U.S. companies seeking general export information, assistance, or country-specific commercial information should contact their nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Trade Information Center at 1-800-USA-TRADE (1-800-827-8723), or visit: https://www.trade.gov
Agricultural reports are available via the Reports Office, USDA/FAS, Ag Box 1052, Washington, D.C. 20250-1052 and via the FAS Home Page on the Internet.