Oman’s heavy reliance on the oil and gas sector for its economy might dissuade soon. As part of its Tanfeedh initiative, the Sultanate has been actively encouraging the emergence of new sectors and enhancements within existing non-oil sectors for its economic diversification agenda. The manufacturing sector is the initiative’s powerhouse in that regard. A recent report suggests that Oman’s good imports have dropped by 9.1 percent over the past year.
Rise in Oman’s Self-Sufficiency
A drop in imports will lead to a rise in Oman’s self-sufficiency. Using resources on home soil instead of relying on products and facilities from elsewhere will encourage the growth of the Sultanate’s manufacturing sector. Building and strengthening the country’s own base will be beneficial for Oman in the long run, allowing the Sultanate to provide for its occupants without having to look for help from overseas, loosening the string of reliance that may be tying the country down.
The resulting rise of the industrial sector will help Oman even out the distribution of economic inflow by taking some load off of its heavily relied upon the oil and gas sector. The growing demand for products and services from within the Sultanate will also see a parallel and rapid growth of SMEs in the Omani market. By rerouting its strategy and directing attention to other sectors, for a more feasible future, the Sultanate will inevitably accelerate the economic diversification process.
Safeguarding from Competition
An over-reliance on foreign imports might make the country overlook the potential within itself. Since the market in Oman is still emerging, tough competition from the outside market may not lead the SMEs within the Sultanate to rise to the occasion, but instead, die out. The drop in imports will help eliminate the competition and simultaneously safeguard the ever-flourishing and broadening belt of economic diversification via SMEs.
Oman – An Export Haven
Lowering its import demands is not all, the Sultanate also has to increase its exports. The discovery of various minerals within Oman’s mining sector might be one way to do so. These abundant resources can prove to be beneficial for strengthening Oman’s export trade. With the gradual growth across all its sectors, Oman will carve a distinct name for itself and might soon be a major industry player in term of export.
Oman has long stood in the shadows of its Gulf counterparts, however, in recent years the emergence of new sectors and market platforms within the Sultanate have led to a shift in balance – Oman is well on its way to becoming a manufacturing juggernaut, and the drop in imports is a testament to that.