MUSCAT – The Sultanate of Oman will celebrate the annual anniversary of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik’s accession to power in the country on January 11, (Accession Day).
Since His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik assumed the leadership of the country, the Omani economy has witnessed remarkable growth at various levels, with fiscal surpluses made in State Budget. The additional financial revenues have been utilized to enhance social spending, stimulate economic growth, manage the country’s lending portfolio, reduce public debt, and develop governorates.
The government took financial measures and policies that contributed to controlling public spending and improving non-oil revenues. This reflected positively on the state’s financial performance during the first three years of the 10th Five Year Plan (2021-2025). It also boosted the credit rating and future outlook at international credit rating agencies. In addition, it attracted more foreign investments.
Preliminary results of Oman’s financial performance in 2023 showed that a total surplus of RO 931 million was achieved, compared to an estimated RO 1.3 billion deficit in the State Budget. The Budget’s revenues also increased in 2023 to RO 12.213 billion, which means an increase of about RO 2.163 billion, compared to estimates approved in the 2023 Budget, while public spending stood at RO 11.282 billion.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant prices until the third quarter of 2023 posted a growth of 2 percent and stood at RO 26.433 billion. This was due to a 2.7 percent rise in the added value of non-oil activities, which stood at about RO 18.190 billion. The added value of oil activities also increased by 0.5 percent and stood at about RO 9.68 billion.
By the end of November 2023, the inflation rate in Oman went down to about 1.03 percent. This percentage is considered moderate compared to global inflation indicators. The measures undertaken by the government had a positive impact on controlling inflation rates, notably through subsidy to food and fuel products.
Oman’s trade balance as at the end of October 2023 stood at about RO 6.370 billion, while local liquidity grew by 10 percent to more than RO 22 billion by the end of October 2023.
Oman advanced 10 places according to the 2023 Global Innovation Index report issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Globally, Oman ranked 69th out of 132 countries, whose performance was assessed in accordance with seven pillars of credibility. Oman achieved its highest performance in indices of human capital, research and infrastructure.
Oman took fifth place in the Middle East and North Africa and ranked 50th internationally in the Government Readiness for Artificial Intelligence Index. It advanced two places from its previous ranking, according to the Oxford Insights 2023 report.
The 30-indice report covers 193 countries and focuses on three main pillars: government, technology sector, data and infrastructure. Oman advanced in all indices to varying degrees and achieved its best performance in the technology sector (2.96 points), notably in the innovation capacity index, advancing more than 6 points.
The social sector received strong backing through the issuance of Royal Decree No. 52/2023 that promulgated the Social Protection Law. Social protection benefits will begin to be provided during January 2024. As many as 1,467,000 citizens will benefit from these measures. These include 167,000 citizens in the ‘elderly benefits’ segment, while 1,300,000 children will receive support within the ‘childhood benefits’ segment.
The Social Protection Programme also provides RO 130 as monthly financial assistance to people with disabilities in Oman.
In its Renewed Renaissance under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, Oman maintained the principles that guide foreign policy. This qualified Omani political diplomacy to be a model in good neighbourliness, neutrality and non-interference in the internal affairs of others.
Omani policy also underscores the establishment of a fair system for exchanging benefits and interests, consolidating the foundations of stability, peace and international cooperation at all levels.