Oman’s expansion of non-oil economic activities has seen trade with its large neighbouring economies, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, grow up to 93 percent last year, a report shows.
Data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) showed Oman's total non-oil exports recorded an 8.5 percent year-on-year rise to OR2.33 billion ($6.78bn) in the first eight months of 2013.
Of that, non-oil exports to the UAE grew by 24.4 percent to OR428 million, making the emirates Oman’s biggest non-oil trading partner, the Muscat Daily reported.
Saudi Arabia emerged as Oman's second biggest non-oil trading partner, with non-oil exports to the kingdom jumping 93 percent to OR306m.
Oman’s total re-exports increased 45 percent to OR2.39bn in the first eight months of 2013, of which re-exports to the UAE stood at OR838m, accounting for 35 percent of the total.
Re-exports to Saudi Arabia surged by 132 percent to OR249m.
“The trends in non-oil trade reflect Oman's increasing integration with neighbouring economies such as UAE, which has rebounded strongly,” Fabio Scacciavillani, chief economist with the Oman Investment Fund, was quoted as saying.
“There are positive repercussions on Oman from strong growth in neighbouring countries.”
Scacciavillani said that robust growth in non-oil exports and re-exports also reflected the internationalisation of Omani firms, which were looking to tap foreign markets.
“It is a healthy development for a small economy like Oman that local companies are expanding their markets abroad as it is needed due to the saturation in domestic markets,” he said.
The export of mineral products, which is the largest component of non-oil exports, jumped 51 percent to OR670m in the first eight months of 2013 from OR444m in the previous year.
In the recent state budget, the Oman Government expected non-oil economic activity to grow by 7.3 percent in 2014.