Venture to Oman with IE Singapore

Stable and well-positioned

Oman is strategically located along major shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and at the entrance of the Strait of Hormuz. The second largest country in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) after Saudi Arabia, it enjoys considerable political stability relative to other parts of the Middle East, emerging largely unscathed from the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

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Extensive investment

To diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on oil and gas, Oman is actively seeking investments in industries such as alternative energy, chemicals, information and communications technology, infrastructure, marine, pharmaceuticals, and tourism. The government is also developing its infrastructure on various fronts, including the building of a pan-GCC railway, extensive upgrading of road, rail, air and seaport facilities, and various water treatment and power generation projects to facilitate industrial development.

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Rich business opportunities

Three recently-developed industrial zones and ports provide a wealth of business opportunities. These include the SOHAR Port and Freezone that has attracted US$25 billion in investments, with three main clusters in logistics, metals and petrochemicals. The Special Economic Zone at Duqm is Oman’s current cornerstone development, which aims to transform Duqm into a petrochemical hub. Apart from oil and gas, the zone also plans to attract light manufacturing industries and develop tourism.

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Venture to Oman

Oman’s economy is driven by oil and gas, metals and mining, tourism, transport and logistics industries. Oil revenue accounts for 46% of the country’s GDP, but Oman is aiming to reduce this to 9% by 20201. Mining and metal ore smelting activities are aided by cheap electricity.

In line with its Vision 2020, Oman is keen to reduce its reliance on crude oil exports via investments in other industries and services. Oman has also undertaken several downstream petrochemical projects, so as to lengthen the value chain of its petrochemicals industry.

 

1: CIA World Factbook, 2017

 

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Geography: With a total land area of 309,500km2, Oman occupies the south-eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. It shares borders with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen and is a close neighbour of Iran.

Population: 3.4 million (est. July 2017)

Ease of Doing Business Ranking: 71st (June 2017)

Economic Freedom Ranking: 82nd (2017)

Bilateral Trade: S$504.8 million (2016)

Currency Used: Omani rial (OMR)

Language: Arabic (official), English (widely used in business and official circles)

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Geography: Muscat is the capital of Oman, housing government ministries, major trading companies and the headquarters of Omani-based businesses. The city’s previous main trading port, Mina Sultan Qaboos, was converted to a cruise port in 2014 and is now at the centre of the US$390 million project which aims to make Muscat a cruise tourism hub. Tourism will remain a key economic driver for the city as it seeks to diversify its economic portfolio.