A strong growth trajectory is forecasted for the Sultanate by experts who said the recent State announcement of 25,00 jobs for the citizens too would be a boost to the economy as the results are poised to manifold. Experts who attended the ‘2018 regional Economic Outlook- Stepping up to the Future Challenges’ organised by the Omani-French Friendship Association (OFA) at the Oman Convention and exhibition Centre, Crowne Plaza yesterday opined that the growth forecast for Oman GDP is a good sign of a robust economy for next year.
“The growth forecast for Oman GDP at 3.7 per cent next year is a good sign of GDP growth and the predictions say the non-oil GDP is growing. In 2019, these figures may not be on cards but it’s a good sign that the GDP is growing the other direction promising an all-round economic growth”, Caroline Bolle, Group Head of Investment Banking, Global Institutional and Investment Banking at the Bank Muscat told the Observer.
Caroline delivered a speech on “The new frontiers of fundraising for Omani Corporates in the Changing Economic Environment” while Richad Soundardjee, Group Chief Regional Officer — Societe Generale Middle East and Regional Chief Executive Officer – Societe Generale Dubai spoke on “Challenges and opportunities for GCC Sovereigns in a new economic paradigm.”
“The diversification of economy has been a long-thought process and with the last year’s Tanfeedh, the nation began to diversify the national income sources to four main sectors such as manufacturing, tourism, logistics and mining.
I believe there is a lot of work being done in these areas and the results are slowly being felt in the economy”, said Sulaiman Hamed Hamood al Harthy, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Meethaq Islamic Banking Group, Bank Muscat.
“The recent announcement of 25,000 jobs can further awaken the economy in terms of increased purchasing power as the living standards of the citizens will increase and more spending can be expected, new houses built, automotive and other retail sectors too will feel the ripple effect of this announcement”, Al Harthy added.
Oman’s strategic location, projecting the country as the right place for investments, logistic development, efforts to grow the country as hub for sub shipment and transshipment, and increased programmes for tourism development as the country has got lot of wealth in terms of beauty, hospitality are going to be the key players in economic growth.
Added to it, provision of many free zones that provide incentives, the government decision to reduce a fees for licensing of the FDI coming into the country and all such steps would add to the total growth of the economy, according to the experts.