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Oman’s economic upturn signals business opportunities: Expert

The Sultanate of Oman is capitalising on its domestic and regional economic momentum, paving the way for new business prospects in the country, this according to Robert Mogielnicki, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington (AGSIW), a prominent think-tank.

Since the start of 2024, according to Mogielnicki in his post titled ‘Oman Capitalizes on Domestic, Regional Economic Momentum’, Omani authorities have unveiled a series of rapid economic initiatives, including the establishment of a new sovereign fund entity, the country’s inaugural government-owned investment bank, and major development projects like the Jabal Al Akhdar mixed-use project.

Under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, Oman has made substantial progress in stabilising its economy and addressing long-standing vulnerabilities. Fiscal consolidation programmes have been implemented, government debt levels have been reduced, and inefficiencies in government-related entities have been minimised to unlock new value. This progress has set the stage for Oman to enter a new phase of economic policymaking armed with fresh policy tools and concrete development plans.

Mogielnicki said that Oman’s economic foundation is strengthening, with Fitch Ratings estimating fiscal surpluses for both 2023 and 2024. The country has seen a surge in foreign direct investment, particularly from the United Kingdom and the United States. Additionally, Oman’s sovereign credit rating has been upgraded, and the government has enacted new laws to boost the tourism sector and enhance fiscal sustainability.

The Oman Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, launched the Future Fund Oman to bolster foreign direct investment and support small- and medium-sized enterprises. Moreover, the Oman Investment Bank, the nation’s first government-owned corporate investment bank, was established to promote economic development.

Furthermore, Oman has announced ambitious development projects such as the Al Khuwair waterfront project and the Omani Mountain Destination in Jabal Al Akhdar. These projects aim to drive economic growth, attract residents and visitors, and create a positive economic cycle in the country.

Despite these advancements, Oman faces challenges in accelerating the pace economic diversification and its continued heavy reliance on the oil and gas sector for government revenue. The government is working on privatisation initiatives and share offerings to maintain economic momentum and create high-quality jobs for Omani citizens.

Oman’s proactive economic policies amidst regional economic challenges and conflicts present a beacon of hope in the Middle East. By leveraging its economic foundation, strategic initiatives, and partnerships with neighboring countries, Oman is positioning itself as an attractive destination for business growth and investment opportunities.