Muscat: Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), has said that Oman’s foreign policy will be unaffected and consistent with those pursued by the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos.
Speaking to an international news agency on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2020, he said that His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tareq has made it clear in his first statement to Oman and the world that he will be ‘consistent with the policies of late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos and Oman’s relationship with the world will remain unaffected and that would work on expanding the economy by enabling the private sector.”
Sunaidy said, “His Majesty Sultan Haitham’s is very clear about Oman’s commitment to the region. We believe in the security and stability of the region. We also contribute to world peace. At the same time, we are an inward-looking economy and have been focusing on diversification over the last five years.”
He underlined the fact that His Majesty the Sultan has been also leading the ambitious Oman Vision 2040 program.
The minister said Oman will be consistent with its foreign policy but the reform is inevitable. Our GDP dropped tremendously from RO30 to RO26 billion in 2014, but now we are back to RO30 billion.
On the ideal oil prices for Oman and the region, the minister said, “We are hoping to $70/barrel oil prices and but we are getting accustomed to prices below $60/barrel . The economy is being revived at $60, but a price of $70 would have been more comfortable.”
For diversification, “We are focusing on manufacturing, tourism, fisheries, and logistics as part of the diversification policy. We are looking at a growth rate of 2.5 to 3 percent unless there is any big development that interrupts growth in the neighboorhood. We have reformed our foreign investment and the public-private partnership (PPP) laws, including in the electricity sector.
On the implementation of the VAT, he said, “We are committed towards launching it at the beginning of 2021, but this is something people don’t like”.