The Omani Government’s initiatives to modernise the local economy has been commended by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), as per a report published by the Hong Kong-based statutory body.
Affirming the Sultanate’s role in executing a successful model of economic diversification– notably in the country’s trade liberalisation in goods and services – the foreign report pointed out that Oman pursued an active plan of development that focuses on multiple facets.
This includes diversification, manufacturing and privatisation with the purpose of diminishing the contribution of the oil sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 9 per cent.
The report noted that tourism and hydrocarbon industries had become the main components of the government’s economic diversification strategy.
As per the report’s analyses, the Sultanate showed strong commitment to trade liberalisation through its membership at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), in addition to a number of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.
“The Omani government took initiatives to modernise the economy,” the report read, before adding that the increased government spending and direct foreign investment lead to the development of a broad range of non-oil industries.
A great part of this diversification emerged from Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the Sultanate; particularly in Duqm. The nation has also focussed on incentivising economic transformation by combining organisational incentives and strategic geographic location outside the globally tension-prone Strait of Hormuz.
Investment in infrastructure continues to pour into economic zones in Salalah, Duqm, Sohar and Al Mazyouna, said the report, adding that this goes in line with domestic development plans (aimed at limiting GDP reliance on the oil and gas sector).
Since 2017, the Sultanate has attracted a variety of mega investment projects – most of them focusing on export-oriented industrial operations located in these SEZs.
The report indicated that no banking restrictions are imposed on foreign investment transactions or financial transfers. It added that, in terms of portfolio investment, no restrictions are imposed on the flow of capital or profits and that foreign investors are permitted to invest in Muscat Securities Market as long as they do that through a licensed broker.