While hydrocarbons accounted for 38.8% of the sultanate’s GDP in 2011, non-oil activities have grown by 55% from 2007 to 2011, from OR9.2bn ($24bn) to OR14.3bn ($37.7bn). Of these, the services sector has consistently been the largest category recently, hovering between a 30% and 40% share of overall GDP, with industry making up some 15-20%. However, despite the growth of non-oil activity, 2012 saw the petroleum sector’s contribution to national income grow by 25.7%, as a result of higher oil prices and stronger export volumes. This combination of healthy oil revenues and boosted non-oil sector performance has helped to offset rising expenditures and support the private sector, with particular emphasis on job creation. In the years leading up to 2015, the government aims to create between 200,000 and 275,000 new jobs.
This chapter includes an interview with Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce & Industry.