Viewing cable 04MUSCAT2011
Title: OMAN: POST SUPPORT FOR MEPI PROGRAM IMPLEMENTERS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04MUSCAT20112004-11-17 13:09:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MUSCAT 002011 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/PI, NEA/RA, AND NEA/ARPI 
ABU DHABI FOR H. WECHSEL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: AMGT EAID ECON KDEM KPAO PREL KMPI MU MEPI
SUBJECT: OMAN: POST SUPPORT FOR MEPI PROGRAM IMPLEMENTERS 
 
REF: SECSTATE 238836 
 
¶1. To date there are no MEPI program implementers with 
offices in Oman, although we understand there may be some 
considering establishing a full-time presence in Muscat. 
Amideast is one such organization, and is currently 
consulting with a local law firm on the legalities and 
formalities of establishing an office in the Sultanate. 
 
¶2. As for administrative hurdles to overcome, Omani 
regulations and bureaucracy can be daunting to navigate, 
particularly for the closely monitored NGOs.  Strict banking 
regulations typically require legal standing in Oman before a 
bank account can be opened, which is a difficulty for many 
organizations that would be considered "non-profit" or NGOs 
in other countries.   Only a handful of NGOs are formally 
registered through the Ministry of Social Development in 
Oman.  Nonetheless, the nascent Muscat American Business 
Council (MABC), the new American Chamber of Commerce in Oman, 
managed to open an account with an international bank in 
Muscat despite its informal status, largely with the help of 
government ministers who support the notion of an American 
business council, and by the strong backing of the U.S. 
Embassy.  Other potential hurdles for MEPI implementers exist 
in the labor realm, where labor clearances and formal 
sponsorships would need to be obtained for any expatriate 
employees an implementer would want to hire.  Moreover, the 
government's Omanization policy could impact the number of 
expatriate staff as a proportion of the total payroll. 
 
¶3. Comment: A full picture of the potential administrative 
difficulties that could confront MEPI implementers requires a 
more extensive legal analysis.  In many ways, this is 
uncharted territory in a nation like Oman.  As we have seen 
with the MABC and other informal groups, however, there is 
room for maneuver given the right circumstances and the 
appropriate level of backing from the USG.  Oman continues to 
be fertile ground for MEPI programming, and there are 
possibilities in the NGO sector today that did not exist even 
a few years ago.  We do not believe that MEPI implementers 
would find it impossible or impracticable to work here, but 
bureaucratic hurdles will need be overcome, particularly for 
the first implementers to seek a full-time presence. 
BALTIMORE