Oman Business Profile
Statistics• GDP: US$30.3 billion (2005).
• Main imports: Machinery, transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock and lubricants.
• Main exports: Petroleum, fish, metals and textiles.
• Main trade partners: China (PR), Japan, Korea (Rep), Thailand and United Arab Emirates.
EconomyOman was acutely underdeveloped until the discovery of oil and natural gas in the early 1970s; in 2005, this accounted for 79.5% of the government revenue. Agriculture, owing to Oman’s desert land, is confined to the coastal plain and a few irrigated areas in the interior. Dates, limes and alfalfa are the main products; some livestock is also bred. There are mineral deposits of copper, chromite, marble, gypsum and limestone, manganese ore and coal.
The government has used some of its oil revenues to develop indigenous industries such as construction, agriculture and tourism, and to build up the country’s infrastructure; these projects are incorporated in the Vision 2020 economic development programme. In the late 1990s, Oman started to privatise major government-owned parts of the economy and introduce a legislative framework to encourage foreign investment. The economy grew 5% in 2005 and enjoys low inflation.
Oman is a member of various pan-Arab political and economic organisations. However, it is not a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – although its pricing policy tends to follow that of OPEC fairly closely.
Business EtiquetteMen should wear suits and ties for business and formal occasions. English is usually spoken in business circles, but a few words or phrases of Arabic will be useful and welcome. Appointments are essential and punctuality is gradually becoming more important in business circles. Business cards are widely used.
Office hours: Sat-Wed 0800-1300 and 1600-1900, Thurs 0800-1300.
Government office hours: Sat-Wed 0730-1430, and sometimes half-day Thursday.
All offices are closed Friday. Office hours are shorter during Ramadan.
Commercial InformationMinistry of Commerce and Industry
PO Box 550, Postal Code 113, Muscat, Oman
Tel: 771 7085.
Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry
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