Economy of Oman

The development of the Omani economy is associated with its features: an abundance of cheap energy, the presence of investment opportunities and a shortage of local labor resources. This dictates a certain profile of industrial development: energy- and capital-intensive, but labor-saving, which can be seen in the narrow specialization of the country in oil and gas production and their processing, petrochemistry. The industrial strategy is export-oriented.

According to cheeroutdoor, Oman’s GDP, calculated at the purchasing power parity of the currency, amounted to $21.5 billion in 2001; GDP per capita in the same year – 8.7 thousand US dollars. Oman gives approx. 1.3% (45.1 million tons) of global oil production per year. Inflation 1% (2001). Economically active population approx. 850 thousand people Unemployment 5% of the labor force (2001).

Sectoral structure of the economy by share in GDP (1999): services 50%, industry 47%, agriculture 3%. The structure of GDP by employment (2001): construction 16%, extractive industry 2.1%, manufacturing 9%, agriculture 9.4%; the rest falls on the service sector (including those employed in public administration and defense – 24%; in other services – 16.5%).

The main industry is oil and gas, the export of hydrocarbons annually gives the treasury 70-80% of income (more than 40% of GDP). The Sultanate is not a member of OPEC, but adheres to its recommendations in matters of pricing and production quotas. It annually exports 42-45 million tons of oil ($3.2-5.8 billion). At the current rate of oil production, its reserves will last until approximately 2013. 90% of the country’s oil resources and 94% of energy production are accounted for by the Petroleum Development Oman company (60% state share). In order to develop and manage the country’s gas resources, the Oman Gas Processing Company was founded in 1994 (the state’s share is 51%). The energy sector has been widely developed (8.1 billion kWh in 2000), 90% of settlements are provided with electricity (2001). The petrochemical industry is developing rapidly.

Oman also has a copper smelter (production of about 20,000 tons per year), 3 cement plants, a flour mill, and a feed factory. Construction is underway on a gas liquefaction plant with a capacity of 6.6 million tons per year and a gas pipeline to supply it to the export terminal, a large enterprise in Sohar for the production of polyethylene (450 thousand tons per year) and chemical fertilizers. There is an intensive housing construction: to the beginning. 2000 90% of Omanis had their own houses and apartments. New industries are developing, such as the aluminum industry.

Prior to the “oil boom” of 1967, Oman was an agrarian country dominated by subsistence agriculture. The main agricultural region is the El Battyna plain. The main cash crop is dates, which are supplied to the domestic market and for export. Of the cereals, wheat is mainly cultivated. Alfalfa, lime, bananas and vegetables are also grown. The total area of cultivated land is 40 thousand hectares (1% of the territory). Camels and goats are bred everywhere. Dhofar specializes in cattle. Fishing is practiced (120 thousand tons of fish per year, exports are 46 thousand tons annually to 40 countries, 2000).

The length of paved roads is 8.4 thousand km (2000). The length of dirt roads is 25.3 thousand km (2000). There are no railroads. Pipeline transport is developed: the length of oil pipelines is 1300 km, gas pipelines are 1030 km (2002).

Foreign trade transportation is carried out mainly by sea (annually, on average, approx. 70% of imported cargo and 100% of oil and gas exports). The largest ports: Salalya (500 ships per year, 2 million containers per year), Matrah, Raisyut. Developed air communication. Air transportation is carried out by Oman Aviation Services (state share 65%). In the beginning. 2000, the Sultanate had 6 airports – in Es-Sib, Salal, Sura, Khasab, Diba and on the island of Masirah. Airports in Sohar and Buraimi are under construction. The main one is the international airport in Es-Seeba (runway 3585 m). Oman is equipped with a developed telephone connection. The postal and telegraph service is represented by Oman Telecommunications Co. (OMANTEL). Since 1996, Oman has been connected to the Internet; in 1998, there were 14.2 thousand users of this system.

The general economic development strategy of Oman is aimed at the accelerated industrialization and diversification of the economic structure in order to create such an economic mechanism that could function normally after the end of the “oil era”. The liberalization of the economy continues. A policy of “omanization” is being pursued, i.e. replacement of immigrants with local labor resources. As a result, for example, the number of immigrant workers in 1997-98 decreased by almost 3%. Social policy provides for free education and healthcare, an increase in the number of jobs for Omanis, the allocation of soft loans for housing construction (including the transfer of housing complexes to needy local residents free of charge), etc.

Control over money circulation in the country is entrusted to the Central Bank of Oman (CBO). There are practically no restrictions on the import and export of precious metals and foreign currency in the country. The creation of significant foreign exchange reserves for Oman has significantly increased the liquidity of the local currency. In the 2nd floor. 1990s The country’s budget was in deficit. Government debt on the line. 1990s amounted to 3 billion US dollars. Apart from some municipal taxes, Oman only has a corporate income tax. There is no personal income tax, real estate and gift tax, turnover tax in the country. The banking system, apart from the Central Bank, includes 16 commercial banks (of which 7 are local). There are 4 specialized banks in Oman, as well as a stock exchange in the form of the Muscat Securities Market.

Government policy provides for regular spending cuts in all sectors and a gradual reduction in the gap between revenues and expenditures. Budget receipts in 1999 were estimated at 4.7 billion US dollars, government spending reached 5.9 billion US dollars.

The standard of living of the population is quite high. Wages in industry ca. $6,000 per year per worker (2000).

The Omani economy is almost entirely dependent on the state of its foreign trade. The country imports almost everything – from sophisticated technology and machinery to the vast majority of consumer goods. Most food products, printed publications and cement are exempted from customs duties. Machinery, equipment and raw materials can also be imported duty-free, subject to economic necessity. However, it is forbidden to import oil products, the local production of which is directed to the domestic market. There are no export duties. The trade balance is active. In 2001, the export value was $11 billion. Main export items: oil and natural gas 80%, equipment (including re-export of transport equipment) 16%. Main export partners: Japan (24%), Thailand (15%), Republic of Korea (14%), United Arab Emirates (10%), China (9.5%). Import (2001) – 5.8 billion US dollars. Imported: equipment – 45%, finished industrial products – 32%, food products – 16%. Main import partners: United Arab Emirates (29%), Japan (18%), UK (6%), USA (5%).

Economy of Oman