Washington: The wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik has successfully handled the challenges faced by the Sultanate of Oman during the COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis posed by reduction in international oil prices.
According to a report prepared by British writer Jonathan Campbell and published in the website of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, His Majesty the Sultan took timely steps to diversify the Sultanate’s economy on the back of legislations and laws relating to foreign direct investment and public-private partnership (PPP).
Consonant with this, laws were ratified for the improvement of the State’s administrative apparatus, streamlining of financial audit and enhancement of appropriate business environment. The steps and decisions fall under the key objectives of the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) and are consistent with Oman Vision 2040.
The report highlighted the success in increasing direct foreign investments, amounting to 19 percent during the first quarter of 2022, increase in oil exports in 2021 and the conduct of a number of conferences, including ‘Oman Renewable Energy’ Conference in London last July which saw appreciable presence of a number of multi-national companies which executed projects in the Sultanate of Oman and are interested in execution of other projects.
The report stated that His Majesty the Sultan has restructured the Council of Ministers, besides renationalisation of the state-owned companies and sovereign wealth investment funds in five sectors under Oman Investment Authority in order to improve execution processes.
The report reaffirmed the ability of the Sultanate of Oman in achieving the objectives of economic growth through the ‘Mid-term fiscal balance plan 2022/ 2024’ which provided revenues amounting to $780 million in 2021, expected to reach $1.3 billon in 2022.
These efforts and plans would continue to maintain a balanced budget supported by the increase in oil prices, the report hoped.
The report pointed to the statistics of ‘Fitch International Credit Rating Agency’ which reaffirmed that the public debt percentage decreased from 67.3 percent to 47.5 percent
The report further said that the Sultanate of Oman is extending relentless efforts for development of new energy sources, including the agreement for development of a facility for production of green ammonia in Salalah along with execution of green hydrogen projects in Duqm and development of solar energy at several gas and oilfields.
The report concluded by praising the distinguished role the Sultanate plays under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik on peaceful solutions to various issues in the region, including the Yemeni cause and Iran’s nuclear dossier.
With ONA inputs