General State of the Economy
The general economic situation in Oman is excellent. The country owes this to two factors: firstly, the very prudent leadership of the Sultan Quaboos and secondly, the oil and gas deposits in the country. But in recent years, the importance of other economic sectors in the country is becoming more understood and more strongly promoted. The tourism industry, industrial manufacturing companies in general and agriculture are now also important components of the domestic economy. Despite the growth of other sectors, the sale of oil and gas still accounts for around 80 % of the state budget.
50 years of evolution of the Omani economy
It has been around 50 years since the first significant oil deposits were discovered and mined in Oman. The country has done many things right in terms of oil production and marketing. It ensured from the earliest stages that the revenues from oil benefitted the domestic economy and were not exploited by other countries. Beneath the great reliance on oil in the Omani economy, a danger lurks: the fluctuating oil prices often lead to falling government revenues and thus a lack of security in terms of the economy. In order to gain more economic security and diversify the domestic economy, Oman’s attractiveness to foreign investors has been promoted and grown in recent years. The objective here is to significantly increase tax revenues through trade tax without changing the tax burden for the individual. In addition, the introduction of a VAT on the purchase of products is currently in the works. This kind of tax was previously unknown to the Omani people, but it still makes sense, because it should bring further benefits to the economy. Because of the new tax revenue, it is also possible to fund new investments by the state.
More skilled workers for a stronger economy
The most important capital of a functioning economy is well-educated people who are employed in the various enterprises of the domestic economy. To ensure that there are always enough skilled workers, the education system in Oman has been completely revolutionized in recent decades. This has assured that the younger generation of Omanis are not only firmly rooted in the history of their country, but are also well acquainted with the demands of a modern economy. In addition to actions by the government to lure well-educated Omanis employed abroad back home with various offers, the number of future professionals will continue to grow through the continuing education of the Omani population.