Back in early 2016, Oman introduced its National Program for Enhancing Economic Diversification – also known as Tanfeedh – to help promote economic diversification, while reducing its reliance on the oil and gas industry.
Identifying five sectors to focus on that would allow Oman achieve this goal – manufacturing, fisheries, mining, transportation and logistics, and tourism – Tanfeedh continues to implement strategies within these industries that work to promote growth.
If you happen to be looking for business opportunities in Oman, you may find investment within these sectors well worth investigating. Let’s take a look.
Working hard to encourage growth within the manufacturing sector, Oman is currently offering a range of incentives aimed at boosting foreign investment. By providing special economic zones built around business-friendly regulations, Oman has created an appealing environment for foreign investors looking to invest in manufacturing, in the hope that those investors will help to bridge the gap between Oman’s resources and capabilities, introducing advanced technology not yet widespread in Oman.
With the sector already experiencing growth, data indicates the value of projects within Oman’s fisheries industry is now estimated at RO 930 million. Aside from that, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) has seemingly allocated RO 300 million for fish farming projects, an amount that’s expected to reach RO 1.3 billion by the end of 2023.
The Ministry also confirmed that the government will grant large facilities for fishing fleets, while also providing plots and supporting processing projects. Further encouraging foreign investment, the Ministry will provide technical support, facilitate investment procedures, help young investors to prepare feasibility studies, and provide technical supervision during construction and beyond, offering supervision and guidance where needed.
While Oman may be a country rich in copper, gold, silver, chromite, lead, nickel, manganese and zinc mineral reserves, these reserves remain undeveloped because of the country’s prior focus on oil. Growth is now anticipated within the mining industry as Oman looks beyond oil, assisted by its
long-awaited new Mining Law, and the Public Authority for Mining (PAM). With the aim of attracting new investment and revitalising Oman’s mining industry, the PAM recently announced new mining projects and initiatives with an investment value of over $2 billion.
The Omani mining sector is seeking exploration expertise, industrial mineral processing technology, equipment and companies experienced in developing mineral-based manufacturing. It is also looking to train and up-skill in engineering consultancy, drilling and chemical testing, while also developing equipment manufacturing to fill supply chain gaps across the mining lifecycle.
Transportation and Logistics
In developing the Oman Logistics Strategy, Oman’s government has laid out long-term objectives to increase the contribution of the logistics sector to GDP. Over the past few years, there has been a focus on easing congestion and enhancing capacity, increasing investment in both infrastructure and technology to allow for the upgrade of ports, airport facilities, and new road links.
Notable projects include Duqm, which will eventually include a new port, a naval base, a dry dock, a fisheries hub, an industrial free zone, hotels, power and desalination plants, a refinery, a 250km pipeline network from interior oil fields, a liquid jetty, and an oil tank storage terminal. Road construction is another focus of development, as is public transport, as well as the expansion of regional and international routes out of the new Muscat International Airport.
Tourism and Travel
With its spectacular mountain ranges, pristine beaches, diverse environment and fascinating historical sites, Oman has plenty to offer international visitors. With that in mind, Tanfeedh is implementing steps to enhance Oman’s status as a go-to tourism destination. With a vast number of projects and initiatives in place, Oman aims to increase international visitors to 5 million per year, up from 3 million in 2016.
While they may not be not included on Tanfeedh’s top five, the following sectors may also offer opportunities for investment in Oman.
Thanks to its rising population – and that population’s high disposable income and growing preference for private education – Oman’s education sector is continuing to grow. Development of the education sector has remained a top priority for Oman’s government, as it recognises the importance of investing in skills and training to provide employment opportunities and boost overall competitiveness. It actively encourages private sector participation in the country’s education system, and has designed the regulatory legal framework to safeguard the interests of both foreign and local investors.
With its 2030 Digital Oman Strategy or ‘eOman’, Oman is working to boost growth within the digital sector, paying particular attention to technology-based startups. Back in 2016, Oman created the Oman Technology Fund (OTF) to invest in startups in Oman and Mena in the pre-seed and seed stages, with hopes to attract global startups to the country. Oman has also been working to develop closer ties with emerging global tech leaders like China and India.
If you’re interested in investing within any of these seven sectors – or elsewhere – Fusion can help you on your journey as you expand within Oman. Call us today to find out how.