Foreign direct investment in Oman for the first quarter of 2020 crossed OMR 15 billion, an increase of 5.9 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2019.
For the first three months of 2020, FDI inflow amounted to OMR 15.064 billion compared to OMR14.213 billion for the same quarter in 2019, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
The United Kingdom topped the list of FDI in Oman at the end of the first quarter of 2020, reaching OMR 7.54 billion, up from OMR 7.396 billion during the same period of 2019.
The FDI from the UK was followed by that from the USA, with an amount of OMR 1.794 billion, up from RO 1.758 billion in the same period of 2019; and then by the UAE, with an amount of OMR 1.208 billion, compared to OMR 1.164 billion at the end of the same three months period in 2019.
Another member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Kuwait came fourth in Omani FDI accounting OMR 916.8 million for the first quarter of 2020, in comparison to OMR 835.3 million for the same duration in 2019.
FDI from the Kingdom of Bahrain in Oman stood at OMR 402,300 million at the end of the first quarter of 2020, an increase from OMR 389,900 million compared to the same quarter last year while the FDI from the state of Qatar reached OMR 372,800 million, up from OMR 344,400 million.
China also invested heavily in Oman and the FDI values for the first three months of 2020 were OMR 760 million, up from OMR 75 million for the same period in 2019.
Foreign direct investments from India rose to OMR 323.1 million, up from OMR 320.7 million of 2019 first-quarter figure. Then came the Netherlands who invested OMR 304.7 million in comparison with OMR 298.5 million.
The Republic of Switzerland also participated and invested OMR 260,400, up from OMR 251,100 million during the corresponding period in 2019.
However the investments from other countries around the globe declined marginally and Oman received, till the end of the first quarter of 2020 an investment of OMR 1.176 billion against OMR 1.378 billion during the same tenure of 2019.
The NCSI data revealed that the maximum FDI went into oil and gas extraction activities in Oman amounting OMR 9.69 billion, up from OMR 9.5 billion in the corresponding period of 2019, while the FDI in the manufacturing sector stood second at the end of the first quarter of 2020 registering OMR 1.695 billion, up from RO 1.635 billion during the first three months of 2019.
The financial sector of the Sultanate of Oman also witnessed OMR1.362 billion in investment, the same amount of investment received in this field for the same period in 2019. The considerable upside in FDI also seen in the Real estate sector totalling an investment of OMR 1.14 billion, up from OMR 724.7 million for the first quarter of 2019.
Other economic activities in Oman saw a total investment of OMR1.302 billion, up from OMR 990.9 million for the first three months of 2019.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) praised Oman for mobilizing increased FDI inflow into the country and interestingly the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion of Oman also recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of its inclusion in the WTO.
WTO’s Deputy Director-General, Alan Wolff, described the Sultanate as a reliable and supportive partner for WTO and also appreciated its role in implementing transparent and clean business practices.
“We are fortunate that the Sultanate is a member of the WTO for various reasons, in particular its long history in the global trade,” he added.
The Sultanate has also enacted some anti-dumping regulations with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries against the produce of some countries who encouraged and have adopted harmful trade and business practices for doing business in Oman.
Over the past twenty years, the data point showed that the Sultanate’s GDP has gone up by four times from $20 billion to $80 billion and Oman has been successful in achieving economic diversification and fixed trade surplus that the Sultanate can boast of.
The Sultanate is an ideal example of an open country believing in competitive advantage and transparent business systems and luring many global investors for their company formation in Oman.