Nortal is known as one of the principal architects of Estonian e-society — widely recognized as one of the most advanced digital societies in the world. Possessing valuable experience building out numerous mission-critical digital systems back home, Nortal is exporting this proficiency to the GCC region in general and to Oman in particular.
“We have been present in Oman since 2009,” says Helm, “and during this time, we have been involved with numerous projects. One of the most recognized being the Invest Easy portal — a key government project with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) and the Information Technology Authority (ITA) — with the goal of transforming the way businesses operate.”
The portal, bringing together 76 various services, allows companies to submit digitally signed documents to Oman’s National Business Register and apply online to start a business, acquire licenses, amend registry data, prepare financial reports and utilize a number of other relevant services for entrepreneurs.
#Nortal is helping put Oman on the global innovation map. #DigitalTransformation
The Invest Easy portal is intended to make the process of starting a business hassle-free. “It’s an Estonian success story we brought to Oman. In Estonia, we can register a company in less than five minutes.” Helm adds, “The central idea was to offer a similar philosophy and make it work with local reality.”
Following the launch of the portal, Oman made an unprecedented leap in the ease of doing business ranking in the World Bank report of 2017, jumping 127 places in the category “Starting a Business” in a single year.
The record climb can be directly traced to optimized business registry processes and various other supporting online services made possible by the Invest Easy portal, a single point of access to all government e-services for entrepreneurs. Innovation of the portal is ongoing, and Nortal is continuing its partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
In addition to the portal, Helm says Nortal has also been selected to provide the necessary technical solutions, and establish the infrastructure needed, for the implementation of effective tax collection in Oman. The solution being implemented ensures maximum accrual of VAT and effective collection of tax, with minimum administrative burden and costs, while creating a fair business environment and user-friendly services for all taxpayers.
Moreover, Helm spoke to the news outlet about the work Nortal is doing developing the licensing and permits system for the Ministry of Manpower. “This will reform the processes related to managing the foreign labor force in the country — starting with simplifying the application phase and enabling the ministry to better plan and manage the processes.”
Marek Helm, the Head of Public Finance Advisory and Change Management at Nortal, is a true opinion leader who has introduced tangible change and improvements in several countries. He was the Director General of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board for six years. During that time, the organization became one of the most trusted government organizations in Estonia, VAT fraud was almost eliminated and the OECD ranked it within the TOP 3 most efficient tax organizations. To go into more detail about how governments can digitize tax authorities and boost economy, get in touch with him via email.