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Govt to form panel to look into dumping issue: Minister.

Muscat: Oman government is planning to form a special committee to look into the issue of dumping by foreign companies. The panel will consider complaints from local manufacturers against foreign firms resorting to under-cutting practices and will take anti-dumping measures, if needed. "If a foreign company sells products at lower prices to attract Omani consumers, you can submit a complaint with adequate proof," Dr Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry, told an inter-active meeting of businessmen to mark the Industry Day celebrations here yesterday. "We want to protect Omani products from dumping. But it is hard for us to do so. Some Asian producers are offering their products at lower prices and flooding the market. If you provide proof, we can take up the matter." Dr Al Sunaidi said the ministry would organise a separate meeting to address the issue of dumping with the officials of the companies affected by undercutting, mainly by Asian manufacturers. Of late, Raysut Cement has submitted a memorandum to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to restrict cement exports to Oman by UAE producers to 5,000 tonnes per truck and total 30,000 tonnes per month to help local industry. The minister also said that the government has stipulated a clause for public sector to use 10 per cent of Omani products in their projects. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have a common law for anti-dumping measures. Responding to concerns expressed by the business community, Dr Al Sunaidi said the government can assist and promote Omani products by conducting trade exhibitions. "However, we can not impose companies to use 100 per cent Omani products." He said Omani companies should focus on specialised trade exhibitions while promoting its products, which will bring in better results. The minister also said that plans are afoot to frame a new industrial strategy. Addressing the gathering of several hundred businessmen, he said the performance of industrial sector was robust in the initial years of the eighth five year plan between 2010 and 2013. The contribution of industrial sector in gross domestic product (GDP) was OMR3.3 billion in 2013. However, including petroleum products and basic chemicals, the industrial sector's contribution was much at OMR5.2 billion. The major non-oil export sectors include minerals, chemicals and building materials and this can be further enhanced if the government can allocate additional natural gas for industries. The minister said as many as 20 industries resorted to expansion with a total investment of OMR470 million last year.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:7OMAN
Date:Feb 9, 2014
Words:433
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