OMAN – BASIC FACTS BY SECTOR
* Over the last 40 years, Oman has transformed itself from a closed country with limited infrastructure to a thriving nation with a strong economy underthe guidance of Sultan Qaboos bin Saud Al Said
* As of 2009, three women are serving in the Council of Ministers and the state has had female ambassadors in the US and the Netherlands – a first inthe Arab world
* Foreign policy looks both East and West. It maintains strong ties with the US and the UK while also employing moderate and engaging policies throughout the wider Middle East regionEconomy
* A high population growth rate (4.5%) combined with consistently positive GDP growth, even amidst years of global economic crisis, has pushed up demand and consumption across the entireeconomy
* Inflation declined to a 4% average in 2009
* The government has issued an expansionary budget for 2009 and 2010, with a focus on infrastructure and health and education.
* The banking sector is defined by its conservative policies, set by the Central Bank of Oman, that many analysts credit with shielding Oman from the global financial crisis
* Thereare currently 7 local and 10 foreign banks operating in Oman
* Bank Muscat is the largest local bank
* The relatively small size of local banks continues to fuel rumors of consolidationTransport
* The government is currently constructing 6 airports across the country (Sohar, Ras Al Hadd, Al Duqm, Adam, Hayma and Shaleem). Also, the Muscat airports capacity has been massively expandedin recent years and further expansion is considered imminent
* Nearly 2 million people are expected to travel to the Muscat
* The Sohar and Salalah Ports have received major upgrades recentlyand construction continues on a new, state-of-the-art container port in Al Duqm
* Its strategic location on the Musandam Peninsula makes open an increasingly important access point to the...
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