Cover of The Report: Oman 2020

The Report: Oman 2020

The year 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Sultanate of Oman, making it the longest continually independent Arab country in modern history. The year also marks the passing of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, who died on 10 January. He is succeeded by his cousin and the former minister of culture, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said.

While still largely dependent on oil and gas revenue, a strong commitment to diversification – beginning in earnest in 2014 – has seen Oman’s non-oil sector record an average real GDP growth rate of 7% since the turn of the century. The country’s strategic position near established global trade routes and a history of political neutrality is opening up opportunities for Oman in transport, trade, tourism and manufacturing. Developments around Duqm – situated outside of the Strait of Hormuz – constitute a major pillar of Vision 2040 and the National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification, and are expected to generate logistical, warehousing, distribution and re-export opportunities. The fact that Oman has recorded growth during a period of lower hydrocarbons receipts and against a backdrop of weaker regional and global trade is testament to robust economic planning. In addition to real GDP growth of 1.8% in 2018, the fiscal deficit narrowed to 9% of GDP. Furthermore, the private sector is playing a larger role than ever in the economy, and around 27,000 Omanis secured private sector jobs in the first five months of 2019.

 

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