By Sarah Townsend
Sultanate expected to look at ways to boost growth outside the Arabian Peninsula
Oman is likely to look to markets outside the GCC for investment opportunities in the coming years, according to a report from BMI Research.
The Fitch Group research firm says China, India and Iran will be the preferred markets for Oman in the years ahead, as the sultanate seeks ways of boosting growth without “running up excessively debt levels of relying too heavily on its neighbours”.
China is already heavily involved in developing the port of Duqm in Oman and many of the extractive industries around it, and it was reported in 2016 that China would invest $10 .7 billion in building a new industrial city there, BMI noted.
Meanwhile, Omani foreign minister Yusuf bin Ali bin Abdullah held a trilateral meeting with his Iranian and Indian counterparts at the United Nations in New York last month. He declared that Oman was determined to broaden ties with both states, with which common interests in the gas sector are shared.
The report said Oman is set to continue its politically neutral stance within the GCC in the years ahead, while still looking eastwards to secure international investors beyond its immediate neighbours.
Its geographically strategic position on the edge of the Gulf with close trade links to India and China is expected to support this strategy, the report said.