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Opportunity Oman: WHY OMAN

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In this series, the author — a well-known Omani economic planning strategist and consultant —discuss the distinctive and advantageous geopolitical, economic, legal and regulatory characteristics that underpin Oman’s investment appear.

Oman’s development is not only inspiring but it is also ongoing. Overall, it has progressed well during the last five decades in all aspects of development, as seen through local and international indicators.

However, Oman is at crossroads and there are many reasons that make reform necessary and urgent for its future, today more than ever. Oman’s most important revenue resource hydrocarbons, is increasingly losing importance globally as the oil market continues to head closer to peak-demand and a shift towards renewable energy where there the demand is seen developing. This makes the country in dire need for diversifying its economy away from oil. Additionally, Oman’s large youth population aspires for productive jobs that can be mostly achieved through expanding the production and private sector activities.

Oman realizes that there is a need for transformation in order to remain relevant in an ever-shifting world. Change is imminent and only possible through an innovative and new approach. Oman’s Vision 2040 provides a catalyst for change that calls for a dramatic and paradigm shift in all aspects of development. This requires an understanding of new dynamics on strategic, tactical and operational levels.

In the business sector, Oman encourages the development of SMEs to enable growth in the private sector, and to open the sector to international banks which will enable diversity to supply consumers with financial services and creativity, thus attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) as a result.

Attracting FDI and joining hands with friends, who are advanced in certain industries possessing the know-how, technology and the right team can fill many gaps Oman aspires to fill. It is essential to note that countries share many common complimentary features which require focus to gain better value such as industrial revolution, tourism and manufacturing, which the government of Oman has been actively encouraging investment in.

Oman offers an ideal environment for investment and there are many ingredients that make it a great destination for investors, to name a few:

• A world-class business destination due to its strategic location which is less than a four-hour flight from over a third of the world’s population;

• Rich in resources, such as a highly skilled workforce, abundance of natural assets, world-class infrastructure, pro-business legislation, and legal transparency are just some of the many elements that make the Sultanate

• Possess a competitive market with a robust diversifying economy, world-class infrastructure, a business-friendly regulatory framework, abundance of natural resources, an outstanding multi-lingual talent pool and political stability making Oman a highly attractive destination for international investors.

• A renowned trade route, as with its highly advantageous strategic location at the crossroads of east-west trade routes and a coastline stretching over 3,000 kilometers. Oman offers direct trade routes from its deep-water ports to the fast-growing markets of the GCC, India, Africa, Far East and Europe. All major ports in these regions can be reached within two weeks, two days faster than any other port inside the Strait of Hormuz.

• Stability: With a long-standing tradition of international diplomacy, Oman is consistently ranked first in peace and stability in the Middle East.

[The author is the founder and CEO of Smart Investment Gateway; email:]

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