Oman promoting tourism to provide more jobs: Khonji

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Kochi, Oct 19 (UNI) Oman Chamber of Commerce&Industry Chairman Khalil Bin Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Khonji today said his country was promoting tourism to tackle unemployment in the nation.

Interacting with members of the Kerala Chamber here, Mr Khonji said ''the Sultanate of Oman is investing hugely in tourism sector to provide more job opportunities to people as about half the total population is under 50 years of age.

''To cater to the growing demands of the tourism sector, we are building around five sea ports and airports and developing townships across the country,'' he added.

Drawing parallels with Kerala, he said both the states were promoting tourism by protecting natural wealth.

On the ongoing 'Omanisation' process, Mr Khonji said ''localisation is important for every country and we have totally localised 58 sectors, including transportation and food industry.'' He said percentage of localisation varied for different sectors and in the construction, it was a mere five per cent.

However, the economic policy of Oman was based on free economy and openess besides establishment of joint ventures with friendly countries, Mr Khonji noted.

In order to attract and improve foreign investments, the Sultanate was providing appropriate legal environment and incentives to investors.

Coporate Tax, which would not exceed 12 per cent, was exempt for first five years. This could be extended for further five years.

Besides, the free trade zone in Salalah and Sohar Industrial Area offered plenty of facilities to foregn investors.

Kerala Chamber President E S Jose hoped the meeting would help in strengthening the trade relations between both the countries.

UNI

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