MUSCAT: A decision to introduce anti-dumping duties on foreign manufacturers to protect domestic industries will be taken at the GCC-level and not by individual countries within the bloc, Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry, told the Times of Oman in an exclusive interview.
The Omani government has formed a special committee to look into the practice of dumping, indulged in by foreign companies, after local producers complained against foreign firms that are selling local products at lower prices to attract Omani consumers.
“If the GCC countries do not agree to an anti-dumping measure, it will be counter-productive because we share a single market,” the minister explained.The GCC countries have a common law for tackling the dumping practices on the part of foreign companies that undercut prices to capture markets.
He said that there is a consensus among the GCC countries for taking action together in case of a dumping attempt by a foreign company. “This is what we are discussing with other GCC states and, in particular, with our neighbouring country, the United Arab Emirates.”In case of dumping, the local company has to prove that there was a dumping attempt in order to lodge a complaint. Then, the individual country will take up the matter at the GCC secretariat level for action.
Referring to anti-dumping cases against Omani firms in overseas markets, he said the Sultanate has won a majority of such cases, except one in Pakistan. Most of the cases were related to circular welded steel pipes from Oman, which were exported to the United States. The US-based manufacturers occasionally lodge complaints against Omani firms for undercutting prices.
Also, a few years ago, the Sultanate’s cement producers had complained against neighbouring producers for dumping cement in Oman.
The Omani government has been encouraging local companies by purchasing local products for projects.