What are some of the major challenges US businesses are facing in Oman, and how will these challenges evolve in the post-COVID-19 environment?
There are challenges in any environment and in any economy. All economies have their own particular challenges. Whether companies are US-based, international, or Omani, they face obstacles. With the new leadership, we are hopeful that any obstacles and difficulties will be removed, creating an even easier business environment in line with Oman's Vision 2040.
How will the nature of partnerships between local and US players change in the medium term, and what will be the main drivers of these changes?
Relationships between US and Omani companies—whether JVs, partnerships, or commercial representations—have always been healthy and will continue being so.
What new opportunities can the drive for innovation and digitization in Oman provide US firms with?
The US is a leading country when it comes to digitalization and innovation. The opportunity is like an open canvas. Oman is still in its infancy in these sectors, but there is a strong desire at both the business level and the government level to move in this direction in a robust way, so US companies are encouraged to bring their know-how into Oman, explore its potential, and look for opportunities for new technologies.
Why should US public and private investors look at deploying capital in the Sultanate, and what investments do you most recommend?
Why does any company invest anywhere? It is to make money. Oman has a number of benefits for investors. First of all, Oman is one of the few countries that has a FTA with the US. Oman is an emerging market with an FTA, and we have a legal infrastructure that protects foreign investment and allows for repatriation of funds. Oman has great opportunities: it is safe for both business and living and offers a high quality of life. The Sultanate also offers a young, prosperous, and growing economy and population.