Tuesday, 7 Apr 2020
Foreign Capital Investment Law to come into force from next year: MoCI

Foreign Capital Investment Law to come into force from next year: MoCI

The law comes into force six months following its publication in the official gazette. Mohammed bin Rashid al Badi, acting director of the Legal Department in MoCI mentioned that the ministry will implement the law from January two, 2020 as stipulated in Article five. “Till the implementation of the new Foreign Capital Investment Law, the existing law will continue to regulate foreign investment. The new Foreign Capital Investment Law will be applicable to all non-Omanis who want to establish a project which is economically feasible and using their own capital and assets. “Investment laws play an important role in attracting foreign capital to establish companies covering big economic projects required by the sultanate. They help in improving the level of efficiency of companies, exchange of expertise and transfer of modern technologies.” He mentioned that an Investment Services Centre has been set up at MoCI to enhance capital inflow, assistance registration of foreign investors, streamline procedures for obtaining approvals and licences for projects. “It is mandatory for the centre and other relevant organisations to abide by the procedures and deadlines for issuing approvals, permits and licences. If the applicant does not get any reply within the stipulated time, it would mean that his or her application was not accepted.” Badi mentioned that the Foreign Capital Investment Law permits the investor to establish a business in a single of the permitted organizations. “The law does not stipulate a minimum limit on investment in a project provided it abides by the timeframe it has offered for its implementation, in accordance with the economic feasibility study. It also does not allow making any substantial amendments in it without the ministry’s approval.” He mentioned that Article 18 of the law offers the investment project the correct to avail all positive aspects, incentives and guarantees enjoyed by national projects in accordance with the laws currently practised in the sultanate. “Additional benefits may also be given to foreign investment projects established in the less developed regions of the sultanate.” Badi also mentioned that Article 19 of the law permits the allocation of land and actual estate for the project below a lengthy-term lease. “It also grants the right of usufruct without abiding by the provisions of the Royal Decree regulating the use of the sultanate’s Land Law. This is in accordance with the rules and provisions in coordination with the concerned authorities who will specify and allocate sites in each governorate for the projects with the right of usufruct. They will also provide general services such as water, electricity, gas, sewage, roads, communications and other such facilities in the project area.” He mentioned that Article 21 of the law permits that the project investor, or via a third celebration, can import what ever it needs for its establishment, expansion and operationalisation. “This can be either production requirements, materials, or machinery, spare parts and means of transport suitable for the nature of its activity without registering itself as an importer.” Badi added that the Foreign Capital Investment Law guarantees the rights of investment projects established in the sultanate. “Article 23 of the new law stipulates that projects can’t be seized and investment cannot be frozen or taken into custody, except by a court ruling. The project will be exempted from state taxes. “The new Foreign Capital Investment Law guarantees that the project can’t be expropriated except in accordance with the provisions of the expropriation law in public interest. In that case, a fair compensation has to be given without any delay which is stipulated in Article 24. Similarly, the right of usufruct or lease cannot be seized in case of privatisation of the lands or real estate, except in cases prescribed by law or a court ruling.”

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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