Oman Economy Facts
Since Sultan Qabus bin Said came to power in 1970, a development began in which Oman has gone from poor desert nation to modern industrial state and a regional financial and trade center. For the most part, the country’s good oil revenues have been the basis for this development. But oil reserves are expected within a couple of decades and the government is therefore investing heavily in developing other sectors of the economy.
The oil and gas sector is still of great importance to the economy. In 2018, commodity exports accounted for more than 70 percent of revenue to the Treasury.
- Countryaah.com: Major imports by Oman, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.
High oil prices helped Oman perform relatively well through the global financial crisis in the late 1990s compared to many other countries. Oil revenues combined with growing trade and investment and a thriving tourism sector led to good economic growth during the first half of the 2010s.
The long-term Vision 2020 plan predicted that in 2020 oil would only contribute 9 percent to GDP, but the reforms that were envisaged did not go hand in hand. Admittedly, the investments began to produce results in the early 2010s when the non-oil and gas-related part of the economy showed better growth figures. But when the world market price of oil fell in 2014, this also led to problems for Oman, who took a number of measures to reduce the price: subsidies on energy were removed and infrastructure projects slowed down. Before other measures, Oman has hesitated. Saudi Arabia introduced VAT in 2018 when it was initiated in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), but both Oman and Kuwait have stepped up to increase taxation.
The government has continued its strategy of using oil revenues to develop other industries, including new industries, tourism, mining and fishing, thereby reducing oil dependency. A new long-term plan, Vision 2040, was adopted in 2019 and aims not least to reduce youth unemployment.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including OMN which represents the country of Oman. Check findjobdescriptions to learn more about Oman.
Important parts of the economic strategy are to liberalize the economy and to continue to attract investors to the country. In special economic free zones, companies can receive up to 30 years of tax exemption. At the same time, the government also wants more Omanis to be employed in the private sector while the proportion of labor migrants is to decrease.
In 2000, Oman became a member of the World Trade Organization.
The banking sector in Oman is relatively small. In 2011, Oman’s first Islamic banks opened. Since the Qur’an explicitly opposes interest, these banks take no interest on loans and give no interest on savings.
FACTS – FINANCE
GDP per person
US $ 16,419 (2018)
US $ 79,295 million (2018)
2.1 percent (2018)
Agriculture’s share of GDP
2.2 percent (2018)
Manufacturing industry’s share of GDP
38.2 percent (2018)
The service sector’s share of GDP
46.6 percent (2018)
0.8 percent (2019)
Government debt’s share of GDP
53.4 percent (2018)
US $ 41,730 million (2018)
US $ 23,645 million (2018)
– US $ 4,347 million (2018)
Commodity trade’s share of GDP
91 percent (2018)
Main export goods
oil, natural gas, fish, metals, textiles
Largest trading partner
United Arab Emirates, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, India