Over the past few decades, the Sultanate of Oman has managed to build political capital leveraging its geopolitical position in a turbulent region. This political capital draws on solid internal stability and national unity, and a win-win approach to a balanced foreign policy. Additionally, it will grow further as the Oman Vision 2040 gets implemented. In both regional and international settings, Oman is a trusted source of stability and consistency in the entire Gulf region, and it enjoys longstanding bilateral relations with many leading nations around the world.
These bilateral relations made it possible for Oman to mediate between conflicting parties. Therefore, Oman stands a great chance to utilise its “political assets” to actively attract foreign investment to accompany the growing local investments. To achieve this objective, Oman would need to engage with diplomatic delegations present in Oman and beyond to showcase Oman specific characteristics to existing and potential political and economic partners.
Oman’s geopolitical success factors ought to build on existing trade and political relations to enhance logistical partnerships such as with Shanghai, Singapore and Argentina and many other places, that may ultimately serve Oman in becoming an independent and complementary hub for the region. The vision of Oman is to develop logistical infrastructure that caters to the needs of other potential growth regions.
Oman’s moderate and inclusive foreign policy has given it a reputation as the “Switzerland of the Middle East.” The Sultanate of Oman’s geopolitical stance is precise and sensitive, aiming to carefully balance the interests of conflicting parties and avoids aligning with any one geopolitical bloc against another, tends to stay neutral in most international conflicts, pursuing a balanced approach. Acknowledging the above, to anticipate the future which is characterised by substantial uncertainties around the outlook we can confidently answer the following investors questions: What’s most probable to happen, What’s Probable to happen and What’s less probable to happen?
With regards to international economic setting, for small oil-dependent economy like the Sultanate of Oman, which also operates with a fixed peg to dollar, international economic developments could have a significant influence on the performance and prospects of the domestic economy. The current international economic environment is dominated by concerns associated with distribution caused by Covid-19, Global Conflicts (Russia-Ukraine and China-USA) in terms of increased uncertainty due to a slowdown in global economic activities that weaken global demand conditions and global energy crisis (oil prices), the fourth industrial revolution, and other factors.
Oman is not independent from the regional and global macroeconomic environment. The proposed development concept suggests prioritising countries Oman is working with for further development of Oman in the immediate next steps in a complementary rather than competitive manner. Globally, these are the US, China, and India, with the US and China having special significance. Regionally, these are the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia having special significance. In the the long run, other countries relations with countries can be developed.
Both, geographical position, and historical legacy, make Oman a key partner for international trade and diplomacy. Oman’s balanced approach has worked in the past and it should grow further. Rather than “the enemy of my enemy seems to be my friend”, this view considers “the friend of my enemy can still be my friend”. It has yielded Oman a unique position as a trusted, neutral mediator in international conflicts and negotiations.