Diversification efforts take centre stage in 2018 report on Oman

Muscat - 

Oman’s efforts to broaden its economic base by channelling investment into sectors identified as ripe for development are given wide-ranging analysis in a new report just produced by the global research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The Report: Oman 2018 shines a spotlight on the sultanate’s manufacturing industry, which has been earmarked as a key driver of economic diversification and non-hydrocarbons growth.

It considers the role that the sultanate’s special economic zones are playing in assisting manufacturers, buoyed by public funding and attractive incentives. In addition, it highlights the government’s decision to invest heavily in Oman’s transport and logistics infrastructure as a means of supporting industrial expansion and capitalising on the country’s strategic location.

In separate coverage, OBG’s publication looks in detail at Oman’s construction sector, which is bucking broader trends by continuing to deliver a strong performance. Having expanded by 10.4% in 2016, the industry is now poised to benefit further from the government’s plans to increase the number of public-private partnerships as part of a bid to accelerate its diversification plans.

With visitor numbers already on the rise, The Report: Oman 2018 examines the sultanate’s potential for tourism growth. The opportunities for expansion in key niche markets, such as the activity-based and eco segments, are among the focal points.

OBG also gives details of the fiscal reforms that are being implemented concurrently to help narrow the country’s budget deficit. It considers the need to balance these with ongoing support for both the hydrocarbons and non-hydrocarbons sectors.

The Report: Oman 2018 contains contributions from Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said and Xi Jinping, President, People’s Republic of China, together with a detailed sector-by-sector guide for investors. It also features a wide range of contributions from other high-profile personalities, including: Ahmed bin Nasser Al Mahrizi, Minister of Tourism; Tahir Salim Al Amri, Executive President, Central Bank of Oman; Yousuf Al Ojaili, President, BP Oman; and Khalifa Al Barwani, CEO, National Centre for Statistics and Information.

Commenting after the launch, Oliver Cornock, OBG’s Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor for the Middle East, said that while spending cuts and tax increases, combined with higher oil prices, would help to ease fiscal pressures, Oman had recognised the need to move its diversification efforts forward with urgency.

“Having felt the weight of plummeting oil prices in 2016 and the headwinds that followed, Oman has adopted a multipronged approach to expanding its revenue base, led by broad-based reforms and infrastructure investment,” he said. “Our research suggests that with non-hydrocarbons growth on the rise and the rally in the oil market expected to continue, the sultanate’s plans for economic development are on the right track.”

The Report: Oman 2018 marks the culmination of more than six months of field research by a team of analysts from Oxford Business Group. The publication assesses trends and developments across the economy, including those in macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and others. The Report: Oman 2018 is available in print and online.

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