The industry sector in the Sultanate and in the GCC countries is under considerable strain due to decline in oil prices – Dr Ali al Sunaidy , Minister of Commerce and Industry
MUSCAT: Industrial activities in Oman contributed RO 5.33 billion to the GDP at the end of 2015 at current prices estimated at RO 26.85 billion.
This was revealed by Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, during a celebration marking the Omani Industry Day, which falls on February 9 every year to commemorate the visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos to the Rusayl Industrial Estate in1991.
The celebration included a gathering for industrialists, businessmen and Omani investors.
He said that the industry is one of the five economic sectors of focus during the Ninth-Five-Year Plan, but this sector in the Sultanate and in the GCC countries is under considerable strain due to decline in oil prices and lack of recovery in the global markets in general and the Asian markets in particular, as well as intense competition from imported products and cases of dumping, which call for continuing exploration of new markets and targeting innovation to cut costs and introduce new products at competitive prices.
Dr Al Sunaidy said that the manufacturing industries laboratory in Tanfeedh programme highlighted the importance of focusing the coming four years of the plan on petrochemical sector, metals and non-metals sectors and food industries, in addition to two main categories, namely optimum use of energy and search for alternatives to save energy, and expansion of innovation support programmes. He said that the laboratory developed 21 initiatives and projects, and some of which have been adopted and other are available for anyone who wants to adopt and conduct economic feasibility studies.
The minister added that total investments of these initiatives is estimated at nearly RO 10 billion, some of which cover the remaining four years of the plan, and some extend over the early years of the next five-year plan, taking into account the new quantities of gas to be provided by the Khazan Gas field in the first phase of this year, and subsequent stages by the end of 2020.
Dr Sunaidy said that the participants in the Tanfeedh programme reached a clear vision on use of solar and wind power and power generated from coal as alternatives to gas.
Ayman bin Abdullah al Hasani, Deputy Chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), gave a presentation on Omani products exhibitions.
He announced during the presentation that the next destination for the Omani products exhibition will be Algeria from October 9-13 this year, as Algeria is the gateway to West Africa, as well as the gate overlooking Europe, noting that Oman’s exports have increased from RO 8.6 million in 2012 to RO 10.6 million in 2015. — ONA