Sultanate’s GDP grew by 8 per cent

MUSCAT: The Sultanate’s GDP at current prices has posted a positive growth to increase by 8 per cent in 2017, thanks to oil activities which grew by 20.8 per cent and non-oil activities by 3 per cent. This was stated by Sultan bin Salim al Habsi, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Central Bank of Oman (CBO), during the sixth edition of Oman Economic Forum. The forum which opened on Sunday at Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, is organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Al Iktissad Wal Aamal.
“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts an 11-per cent growth in the Sultanate’s GDP at the current prices in 2018,” he added.
Al Habsi said that the government continued its balanced financial policy coupled with remarkable growth of oil revenues which led to decrease in budget deficit to around RO 3.7 billion in 2017, compared to RO 5.3 billion in 2016.
The bank has ensured smooth running of the banking and financial institutions and maintained the value of the local currency in the domestic and foreign markets.
Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, said that the forum comes within the positive change witnessed by the Omani economy since 2017 through economic diversification projects and completion of infrastructure projects such as Muscat International Airport, Al Batinah Expressway, which will be completed soon, and Oman Conventions and Exhibitions Centre, of which a large portion has been opened with the rest to be opened at the end of this year.
“With the recovery of oil prices, it will be easy for the government to pay back loans which it took in 2016 and 2017 to avoid any delay in the implementation of development programmes and to enhance the growth of national economy,” the minister added.