Even as the sultanate's oil production rises, Oman is looking to grow other sectors of the economy, namely, transport infrastructure, the services segment and manufacturing, to offset a decline in oil income.
Leveraging its strategic location, Oman has invested in infrastructure with the goal of becoming a global logistics centre. While the country is less hydrocarbons-rich than its GCC neighbours, diversification efforts are a driving force behind its economic growth. The sultanate’s long-term development strategy, Oman Vision 2020, emphasises industrialisation, privatisation and Omanisation, and resulted in a real GDP growth rate of 3.3% in 2015. At the same time, foreign direct investment inflows have risen from $739m in 2014 to an estimated $822m in 2015.
Whilst many economies in the region have seen significant volatility, with major spikes in GDP growth or inflation over the last 10 years, Oman has built a well-deserved reputation for more modest cycles. Broadly, this has stood the Sultanate in good stead: the peaks might not have been as high as some of its neighbours,
but neither have been the lows. It is against this undeniably strained backdrop that Oman’s business leaders are looking for growth, and are, in fact, quite confident about prospects for it over the next 12 months.