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The Sultanate of Oman’s Key Economic Goals and Aspirations.

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By Muhammed Harub Al Said, Ambassador of Oman to the Netherlands.

Since His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said ascended the throne in 1970, Oman has pursued a successful programme of economic development and sustainability. In just over four decades His Majesty the architect of the al nahdha (Renaissance), the Sultanate has been transformed from a geographically and politically isolated country with limited resources and rudimentary infrastructure into a prosperous modern society.

Currently the world is facing one of the worst economic recession since the great Depression of the previous century. The oil producing countries have been affected by the global economic downturn owing to the oil price volatility. Economists however, are in agreement that global demand for oil will continue to rise well into the foreseeable future.

Oman’s oil reserves are modest and current studies reveal that oil may run out in a couple of decades if new wells are not discovered. Another challenge facing the Sultanate is that oil fields are geographically complex making extraction extremely difficult and expensive. This is an area where Dutch companies can seize the opportunity to introduce or market their products that are utilizing enhanced oil recovery techniques. The Omani Government continues to provide incentives for international companies interested in obtaining licences.

Oman’s future prosperity and growth include: financial and economic stability, reduction in the role of government in the economy by encouraging and broadening private sector involvement and participation, diversifying the sources of the national income and government revenues, globalizing the Omani economy, upgrading the skills of the Omani workforce, developing and investing in human capital. Dutch companies specialising in technical and engineering or corporate management have enormous opportunities to address Omani requirements.

The Sultanate of Oman is presently looking into the potential of renewable energy. Studies reveal that Oman has among the highest level of renewable energy density in the world. The Omani Government believes that there is significant scope for developing solar energy resources throughout the country. Moreover, experts believe that solar energy has the potential to provide sufficient electricity to meet all of Oman’s domestic requirements and even enough to provide some electricity for export. The Netherlands is widely recognized as one of the leading countries in the world that is engaged in the development of innovative technologies. There is tremendous scope for Dutch companies to be involved in the development of solar energy technologies suitable for the Omani environment.

Another sector which the Omani Government recognises as a potential income earner and important source of employment to meet Omanisation goals (i.e. indigenization of the workforce) is the tourism sector. Some of the biggest tourism projects include golf courses, sport facilities and world class as well as budget hotels. The Omani Government is promoting Oman as an eco-friendly destination. Oman is the home of rare green turtle. Dolphin-spotting and swimming is very popular with European tourists.

Oman has one of the most stable regimes in the Middle East region. The Omani Government will continue to promote the Sultanate as a politically moderate Arab state that is financially secure and investment friendly.


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