Oman has released statistics reporting that oil and non-oil exports have increased by more than 50% year on year as the country seeks to diversify its economy.
Oman’s exports have grown by over 50% between 2021 and 2022, according to the Omani government. A 55.9% increase in exports was recorded between January 2021 and 2002, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information.
In 2021, merchandise accounted for USD 44.54 billion, oil and gas accounted for USD 26.05 billion, and non-oil exports accounted for USD 15.04 billion. Re-exports brought in USD 3.43 billion.
In January 2022, oil and gas accounted for USD 2.99 billion, up from USD 1.88 billion the year before. Non-oil exports in January 2022 accounted for USD 1.62 billion, compared to USD 962.18 million in 2021.
Oman’s leading non-oil exports over 2021 included chemical products, which brought in USD 3.21 billion, base metals and metal products (USD 3.45 billion), minerals (USD 2.19 billion), and plastics and plastic products (USD 2.31billion).
Oman’s key imports include minerals (USD 5.66 billion), base metals and metal products (USD 3.92 billion), transport equipment (USD 3.17 billion), chemical products (USD 2.99 billion), prepared food and beverages (USD 1.57 billion), vegetable products (USD 1.76 billion), and live animals and animal products (USD 1.49 billion).
“For Oman, greater revenue will provide welcome budgetary relief in the short-term, after the economic impact of COVID-19,” said Dr. C.K. Anchan, an advisor on economics, international trade and investments. “The government may use a portion of these earnings to invest in efforts to diversify the economy and energy investments, particularly renewable and hydrogen.”
Oman is seeking to diversify its economy through bolstering its non-oil sectors. Tanfeedh, Oman’s economic diversification plan, and Vision 2040, seek to build a sustainable, diverse economy.
“There are lots of aspects of economic diversification,” said Issam Abousleiman, country director of the GCC countries, Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank. “One aspect is diversification of the economy: expanding existing sectors and developing new ones. Here Oman could focus on areas of comparative advantage. Oman should be focused on export markets for goods and services. The first step for any oil rich country is to diversify into oil-related industries, usually the downstream petrochemical industries, beginning with the basics such as fertilizers, but then moving up the value chain through advanced plastics.”
Largest trade partners
The UAE is Oman’s biggest export partner for non-oil goods, having imported USD 2.56 billion worth of goods in 2021 and exports to Saudi Arabia accounted for USD 1.47 billion. The UAE recently reported that its non-oil trade had broken previous records, registering USD 136 billion in the first quarter of 2022.
Oman’s largest African export markets in 2020 included South Africa (USD 665 million), Egypt (USD 273 million) and Mozambique (USD 90.7 million).