TBY RELEASES THE BUSINESS YEAR: OMAN 2018

Muscat, 26 March 2018—Gracing the bookshelves this week is The Business Year: Oman 2018, the most recent edition on the Omani economy produced by TBY in partnership with Ithraa, the Sultanate's Directorate General of Export Development.

The publication features over 150 interviews with top executives and government officials who highlight the wealth of business opportunities the country has to offer. Cutting the ribbon on The Business Year: Oman 2018 is His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who has led the country as it grows from economic strength to strength in the immediate wake of the Tanfeedh economic program implementation. This year's publication on Oman details the ambitions of Tanfeedh, its predicted impacts, and the opportunities it will generate for growth.

According to TBY Analytics Oman 2018, our unique methodology for parsing C-level opinion into crunchable data, the impacts of this robust economic program are already being felt. The average business confidence rating was 3.93, out of a possible 5 points, surpassing last year's average BCI of 3.82.

“The Sultanate, via the Ninth Five-Year Development Plan and Tanfeedh, has already identified five promising sectors for economic diversification: tourism, logistics, manufacturing, fisheries, and mining," outlined Khalid Ali Salim Al Senaidi, Head of Vision 2040 Office, a key unit involved in the drafting of the Sultanate's economic prospective plan for the medium-term. “The vision will continue to focus on these strategic sectors as it does not seek to re-invent the wheel," he went on, “but rather build on previous efforts undertaken by Oman."

These efforts are brought to light in TBY's extensive sector-by-sector coverage of the country. Knowledge sharing between TBY and the National Centre for Statistics and Information has given rise to an informative infographic on the changing profile of Oman's import-export mix. While total trade exchange has decreased in the last five years, new FDI laws and an overall friendlier business environment can help increase Oman's trade numbers again. In 2018 the total trade balance stood at OMR1.4 billion.

Ties—both diplomatic and economic—between Oman, Europe, and the Far East are also brought to the fore in the publication. Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia, makes a guest appearance speaking of the extensive parallels between the two nations in pioneering digital services such as cyber security solutions, and in design and cosmetics. This edition also highlights how Oman's ties with Asian markets will continue to increase in prominence, with China and India poised to become increasingly crucial. Oman and China's continued joint efforts to create a formidable industrial hub at Duqm form a vital piece of this puzzle.

Other key government and private sector figures featured in The Business Year: Oman 2018 include HE Dr. Ali Masoud Ali Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry; HE Yahya Said Al Jabri, Chairman of the Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm; HE Tahir Bin Salim Bin Abdullah Al Amri, Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman; Ahmed Saleh Al-Jahdhami, CEO, Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company; Dr. Khalid Mansoor Al-Zadjali, CEO of Oman Fisheries Company; and Andrew P. Long, CEO HSBC Bank Oman.

Ayşe Valentin, CEO of TBY commented, “The Business Year: Oman 2018 represents our five-year anniversary of covering the Sultanate. Half a decade's worth of growth and opportunities, as laid out in successive editions of TBY Oman publications, is testament to visionary governance, innovation, and successful management of natural resources. We are thrilled to launch this publication, with details of the latest and greatest business developments here in Oman."

The publication concludes with an executive guide, with details on the fiscal and legal landscape of Oman, and an interview with Mohamed A. Al Yahyaei, Senior Partner of Al Yahyaei and Salt, TBY's in-country law partners, who explains the practicalities of doing business in Oman