This chapter includes the following articles.
Like other GCC states, Oman’s economy is largely driven by oil and gas activity. However, with fewer and more complex hydrocarbons reserves than its neighbours, it is under greater pressure to diversify its economic base. The scale of this challenge was highlighted by recent falling oil prices, which led to the largest fiscal deficit in more than a decade. Nevertheless, a combination of government reforms, increased diversification efforts and a recovery in oil prices means that the sultanate’s economy is showing improvements across most major indicators for 2019. The government is therefore well positioned to continue with its most ambitious reform agenda since the original modernisation phase in the 1970s. This chapter contains interviews with Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry; Salaam Said Al Shaksy, Member of the State Council and CEO, Alizz Islamic Bank; Ahmed Al Musalmi, Board Member, Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm, and CEO, Bank Sohar; and Khalifa Al Barwani, CEO, National Centre for Statistics and Information.