27 October 2016

Oman leads Arab countries in World Bank index on ease of doing business

The Sultanate of Oman has advanced three ranks in the World Bank 2017 Doing Business Report, ranking 66th globally. In the business sub-index, Oman was the top Arab country and 32nd globally, a jump of 127 points compared to the previous report.

Doing Business studies quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights across 190 economies. Ten indicators are measured on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

The Sultanate made a progress in the Starting a Business Index by removing the requirement to pay minimum capital within three months of incorporation and streamlining the registration of employees. In the  Trading Across Borders index, Oman has reduced the time for border and documentary compliance by introducing a new online portal that allows for rapid electronic clearance of goods.

HE Dr Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, commented on this success saying: “We appreciate all the efforts made to achieve this international recognition and improve the Sultanate's business environment. The latest changes and updates in the Invest Easy portal played a major role in this success as we cancelled the request to provide proof of the company's capital at the beginning of the registration, the Article 5 and Article 11 in the commercial agencies Law and simplify the procedures for business registration records by allowing 76 electronic services through the portal.”

Dr Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, said: “This advanced ranking of the Sultanate is an international recognition from a leading organisation, The World Bank, that the provision of electronic services in doing business in Oman is moving steadily towards a big success internationally.”

Al Ruzaiqi added: “The Invest Easy project of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is one of the pioneering projects in this field and it deserves this international recognition. It is designed to provide electronic services to investors and entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium enterprises through a single window; in addition to simplifying and streamlining procedures and make the process of investing and doing business in the Sultanate easier with high quality and more transparent.”

Salma Khalfan Al Burtmani, Invest Easy Project Manager at ITA, said: “Invest Easy is a leading e-transformation project that has been implemented with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in order to facilitate the business environment in the Sultanate to be done online through a single window.

“This is the first portal that uses the e-signature service over the mobile phone provided by the National Digital Certification Center at Information Technology Authority. Through this service the beneficiary can complete some transactions completely after activating the electronic certification on mobile sim card.”

ITA is the agency in Oman charged with implementing Digital Oman, a strategy to transform the Sultanate of Oman into a knowledge-based economy for the achievement of social and economic benefits to Omani society.