By Bernd Debusmann Jr
According to statistics from S&P Global Ratings, Oman's debt to oil ratio rose to nearly 60 percent in 2019 - compared to 15 percent in 2015 - and could go as high as 70 percent by 2022
In his speech marking the end of a 40-day mourning period for his predecessor, Omani Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said has vowed to reduce public debt and restructure public institutions and companies.
According to statistics from S&P Global Ratings, Oman’s debt to oil ratio rose to nearly 60 percent in 2019 – compared to 15 percent in 2015 – and could go as high as 70 percent by 2022.
“We will also be committed to directing our financial resources in the most idea manner which will ensure the reduction of debt and the increase of income,” Sultan Haitham said, according to a transcript of the televised address published by local media.
“We will direct the government, with all its sectors, to implement a more efficient system of management which places, on top of its priorities, financial balance, economic diversification, the sustainability of the national economy, besides developing all relevant laws and regulations,” he added.
Additionally, Sultan Haitham vowed that the country would develop a “comprehensive national framework” to boost recruitment.
“This necessitates the continuous improvement of [the] employment environment in both the public and private sectors,” he added. “Moreover, it requires revising and developing employment systems in the government sector, adopting new employment systems and policies that grant the government the flexibility and the ability to achieve optimal use of national resources, expertise and competencies.”
Just last week, Fitch said Oman was budget for a higher deficit of 8.7 percent this year, despite government efforts to raise funds through the sale of assets and spending cuts.