Population (2017): 4,829,483
GDP (2018): US$79.32 billion
World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank (2018): 78
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.
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.
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.
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.
Transport and Logistics
The transport and logistics industries offer strong prospects for companies, with the logistics sector expected to see annual growth of 7% till 2020. In 2015, Oman Logistics Center was set up with the aim of establishing Oman as a global logistics hub.
As Oman ramps up industrial development, its demand for power is predicted to increase by 10% annually. Oman has set aside a sizeable budget for investment in this area, and has called for tenders on various projects to keep pace with growing demand.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
With the Oman government’s move to transform the country through e-government and e-commerce services, its information technology sector is expected to see fast growth. In 2012, the Oman Data Park was launched to boost its domestic ICT sector. Citizens are also digitally savvy, with 151 mobile phone subscriptions for every 100 inhabitants and internet users forming almost 70% of the population1. In 2017, the Information Technology Authority (ITA) developed a 2030 Digital Oman Strategy (eOman) focused on developing IT skills, digital literacy and new technologies. There are rising opportunities for Indian companies in the ICT industry in upcoming years.
Oil and Gas
The oil and gas sector continues to be a mainstay of the Oman economy. It contributes almost half of GDP and more than 80% of government revenue1. Oman produces over 1 million barrels of crude oil a day, but has crude oil reserves of just 5.4 billion barrels2.
Oman’s gas reserves amounted to about 651.3 billion m3. However, most of the readily available resources have already been extracted. The government is studying how to tap more inaccessible deposits on a commercially viable basis.
India and Oman, maritime neighbors linked by geography, history and culture, enjoy close and friendly relations. Inspired by civilisational and historical links spanning over 5000 years, India and Oman have expanded their bilateral cooperation and exchanges since establishment of diplomatic relations in 1955, forging a mutually beneficial Strategic Partnership. India-Oman bilateral relations are anchored in their shared interests, mutual understanding and respect for each other’s priorities, concerns and sensitivities. Regular high-level visits and exchanges have been a key feature of this relationship.
ECONOMIC & COMMERCIAL RELATIONS
India accords a high priority to expanding its economic and commercial ties with Oman. Institutional mechanisms like Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) and Joint Business Council (JBC) oversee economic cooperation between India and Oman. The 8th session of the JCM and the 9th JBC were held in Muscat on 16-17 July 2018 co-chaired by Shri Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, and Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce & Industry.
Bilateral trade and investment between India and Oman remain robust and buoyant. Bilateral trade rose by 67 per cent to reach US$ 6.7 billion in 2017-18 from US$ 4 billion in 2016-17. Major items of India’s exports to Oman include mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; articles of iron or steel; electrical machinery and equipment, textiles and garments, chemicals, tea, coffee, spices, cereals and meat products and seafood. Main items of India’s imports from Oman are include fertilizers; mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes; aluminum and articles thereof; organic chemicals; salt; sulphur; earths and stone; plastering materials, lime and cement.
Mineral fuels, ships, machinery, cereals, electrical machinery, meats, organic chemicals.
|Product Code||Product Label||India’s exports to Oman in 2018 (Value in US$ millions)|
|’27||Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral …||639.9|
|’89||Ships, boats and floating structures||276.2|
|’84||Machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boilers; parts thereof||171.1|
|’85||Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television …||134|
|’73||Articles of iron or steel||101.5|
|’72||Iron and steel||77.5|
|’02||Meat and edible meat offal||47.5|
According to the ITC Trade Map, India has an untapped trade potential of US$ 1.3 billion.
|Product code||Description||Export potential|
|100630||Semi-milled or wholly milled rice||US$ 128.4 million|
|8703XX||Motor vehicles for the transport of persons, nes||US$ 87 million|
|730511||Line pipe used for oil or gas pipelines||US$ 8.9 million|
|020230||Bovine cuts boneless, frozen||US$ 22.9 million|
|720719||Semi-finished products of iron or steel||US$ 40.3 million|
Mineral fuels, fertilizers, aircrafts, salt, ships, organic chemicals, plastics
|Product Code||Product Label||India’s imports from Oman in 2018 (Value in US$ million)|
|’27||Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral …||2438.3|
|’88||Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof||228|
|’25||Salt; sulphur; earths and stone; plastering materials, lime and cement||128.1|
|’89||Ships, boats and floating structures||118.5|
|’76||Aluminium and articles thereof||57.9|
|’39||Plastics and articles thereof||43.5|
|’68||Articles of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials||35.6|
|’72||Iron and steel||28.3|
Mr. Rakesh Adlakha
Deputy Chief of Mission
Tel: 00968 – 24684393
Tel : 00968 – 24684559/24684598
Email : email@example.com
Embassy of India, Muscat
Jami‘at Al-Dowal Al-Arabiya Street,
Al Khuwair, Diplomatic Area.
P.O. Box 1727, P.C. 112, Ruwi, Sultanate of Oman.
Tel : +968 – 2468 4500 (Office General)
Fax : +968 – 2469 8291 (Office Gen)