19 May 2016
Muscat: Oman's total imports declined marginally by 1 per cent to OMR11.15 billion in 2015, from OMR11.27 billion in the previous year, mainly on account of the fall in commodity prices across the globe.
The drop in total imports was attributed to the plunge in commodity prices, since total imports surged ahead by 53.5 per cent to 35.57 billion tonnes in terms of volume last year.
The country imported a sizable portion of products and services, which is goods and services worth OMR4.27 billion, from the United Arab Emirates (UAE)--the major import market for the Sultanate. Other major import markets for Oman are Japan, India, China and the United States.
The Sultanate's non-oil exports also showed a 27.2 per cent drop to OMR3,003.9 million in 2015, from OMR4,125.5 million in the previous year. The UAE remained the leading market for Oman's non-oil exports last year, which was followed by Saudi Arabia, India, China and the United States, according to the latest monthly data released by National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
Further, total exports, including re-exports, from the country plunged by 34.7 per cent to OMR13.35 billion last year from OMR20.46 billion in the previous year on account of a dip in crude oil export revenues. Export revenue from crude oil and natural gas dipped by 41.9 per cent to OMR7.78 billion in 2015 from OMR13.39 billion in the previous year.
Oman's export development agency Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (popularly known as Ithraa) is adopting several initiatives to enhance non-oil exports. These programmes include visits of trade delegations, participation in international exhibitions, business-to-business meetings and market studies conducted in potential export markets.
The latest move was to hold a major trade exhibition of Omani products in Addis Ababa, which attracted a lot of interest from Ethiopian businessmen.
© Times of Oman 2016