Muscat: Petroleum activities contributed 37.1 percent more to the Sultanate of Oman’s GDP in 2018 as compared to 2017, according to the annual report of the Central Bank of Oman.
The CBO, the country’s top financial governance organisation, said that of the OMR 16.56 billion those industries in the country contributed to the GDP, petroleum activities accounted for OMR 10.83 billion, up from OMR 7.9 billion the previous year, while the net GDP stood at OMR 13.48 billion.
Tahr Salim Al Amri, the Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman, in the organisation’s annual report, said, “The Omani economy witnessed robust nominal growth for the second year in a row during 2018, after coming out of a contractionary phase. Although the expansion was recorded across all major economic activities, the petroleum activities contributed majorly to the growth due to a significant surge in oil prices.
“Nominal GDP grew by 12.0 percent in 2018 with the petroleum and non-petroleum activities expanding at 37.1 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively,” he added. “The diversification efforts continued to nurture non-petroleum activities and private sector-led growth in order to reduce the dependence of the economy on the oil sector for development and employment.”
While the upswing in oil prices was a big factor towards the increase in the contribution of petroleum activities to the national gross domestic product, what provided further momentum was the first phase of the Khazzan natural gas plant becoming operational.
The CBO report added: “As non-petroleum activities witnessed some deceleration in growth, the petroleum sector was the main driver of accelerated growth in the Omani economy during 2018. Notably, with Khazzan phase-I becoming operational, the natural gas under the petroleum sector is also emerging as a significant contributor to the Omani economy. Notwithstanding some deceleration in growth across several non-petroleum activities, the non-petroleum sector is gradually evolving as the key force for ensuring sustainable growth in the Sultanate.”
The contribution of crude petroleum stood at OMR 9.226 billion, up from OMR 6.56 billion in 2017, while natural gas contributed another 1.6 billion in 2018, an increase from OMR 1.3 billion in 2017.
The report went on to added: “The dedicated programs under the diversification plan “Tanfeedh” along with other initiatives to improve the business environment are yielding encouraging results and fostering traction in the non-hydrocarbon sector. The ninth and final five-year Development Plan under Vision 2020 continues to emphasize more diversified economic activities to insulate the economy from external shocks.
It said, “The government also undertook some important policy measures during 2018, such as establishment of a commercial arbitration centre, the adoption of a new commercial companies’ law, and a further streamlining of licensing processes through Invest Easy in order to improve the business and investment climate and promote private sector-led growth in the Sultanate.”