Source: Oman Daily Observer 2012
MUSCAT — Foreign investment inflows into the Sultanate almost doubled to around RO 800 million in 2011, up from RO 413 million a year earlier, according to the Chairman of the Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm (SEZAD).
Yahya bin Said al Jabri said the sharp rise in the volume of foreign investment attested to Oman’s strong appeal as an investment destination despite the global economic downturn.
“Oman is one of the most promising countries in the Middle East. The Sultanate offers a range of incentives to attract foreign capital and investment. This has also helped to provide a favourable investment climate and provide the necessary funding in the creation of giant projects in the field of energy and gas, ports, petrochemical and other projects,” Al Jabri stated at a keynote address at the opening of the Oman Investment Forum 2012 held earlier in the week.
Investment-friendly policies and incentives have made Oman a magnet for overseas capital inflows, Al Jabri noted. “The government has made great headway and significant efforts to streamline the legal framework related to foreign investment. As a result, foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Sultanate aggregated to RO 6.2 billion (approximately $16 billion) as of end-2011 and foreign investment inflows into Oman amounted to around RO 800 million (approximately $2 billion) during 2011, almost double the preceding year’s volume of RO 413 million (approximately $1 billion),” he said.
The Sultanate, he explained, has succeeded in achieving a paradigm shift towards promoting partnerships between public and private sectors — a milestone he credited to the succession of development plans that have underpinned country’s economic growth. “Furthermore, Oman logistically has an outstanding location at the door of the world’s largest oil deposits and in between two giant economic powerhouses: Europe and Asia, which is a big plus for foreign investors.”
According to the official, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Oman at current prices grew at 22.7 per cent in 2011, and is projected to grow by 6.4 per cent in 2012, despite the gloomy backdrop in global economy and the Arab Spring. Citing statistics published recently by the National Centre for Statistics and Data (NCSD), he added that Oman’s GDP recorded a jump of 18.9 per cent at current rates in the first quarter of this year compared to the corresponding quarter of 2011.
Oman is also ranked in the top 20 most economically free countries in world, according to the 2012 Economic Freedom of the World Report and 5th on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) front, he noted.
“The future is promising and investors whether national, regional or international would benefit massively investing in Oman, for its economy is on a high growth curve,” he added in conclusion.