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 law and 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 completion.
- Omanis appreciate flexibility in contract negotiations; for any concessions they make, they will expect to receive a concession from the American company, regardless of its size.
- The government often takes many months – in some cases years – before awarding a contract.
- Importers must register with MOCIIP online through the Invest Easy system and join the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
- The use of importers/distributors is most common in the automotive and retail food sectors.
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: 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.