By: Kabeer Yousuf
MUSCAT: The industrial activities in Oman have contributed RO 5.497 billion to the national GDP by the end of 2013 out of which RO 3.267 billion is from manufacturing sector with strong signs of steady growth, according to Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the celebrations of 25th anniversary of His Majesty’s visit to the Rusayl Industrial Estate in 1991, Dr Sunaidy said the market value of the industrial companies registered with the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) was rated at RO 1,940 million.
The industrial sector is showing strong signs of growth and the contribution of industrial sector to the national GDP was RO 5.497 billion by the end of 2013, as revealed by the NCSI (National Centre for Statistics and Information). The share of manufacturing sector in the total is RO 3.267 billion. It has been stated by the MSM that the market value of the industrial companies registered with the MSM was at RO 1,940 million.”
The ninth five-year plan will be a new catalyst for the expansion of existing industries and the establishment of new industries. Dr Sunaidy said that the Omanisation percentage in industrial estates has reached 38 per cent.
“The Omanis working directly in the industrial sector, as of the end of 2014, constitute around 11 per cent of the total number of workers in the private sector (about 22,000 of 200,000 Omanis),” he said.
“The Omanisation percentage in industrial estates has reached a promising 38 per cent. Providing jobs in logistics field is the best solution to keep more Omanis in this sector and other allied sectors.”
He further added that national industries sector has succeeded in attracting domestic as well as international investments which is showing a steady progress.
“We are happy with the growth of industries in the country and we also expect that the ninth five-year plan will be a new catalyst for the expansion of existing industries and the establishment of new industries.”
The minister also said the profitability of the sector against the market value is 5.8 per cent; almost the same percentage forecast for this year in light of the preliminary data of almost 40 companies which have announced their profits as of today.
The number of factories grew by 4.2 per cent in the first half of 2014 compared to 2013 to touch 1,468. The gross value of investments in the industrial areas also grew by RO 657 million in 2014 compared to 2013 to hit about RO 5 billion, including 57.5 per cent local investments.
After availing additional gas quantities by the end of 2017, the industrial sector is expected to grow during the five-year plan.
“While the government is revising gas prices for industrial sector, still initial indicators point out that the effect of gas price rise on existing industries will be limited mostly to the energy-intensive industries.”
The initial results of the current study implemented by the ministry on about 100 industrial companies in different sectors to measure the effect of the government’s previous decision to change the liquefied natural gas tariffs, point out that the increase in the cost of sales will be between 0.01 per cent to 6.3 per cent and that net profits will be affected by 5 per cent to 7 per cent at maximum. These percentages can be contained through a number of corrective measures, he added.
The minister called on Omani businessmen and investors to maximise their gains from the free trade agreement between the Gulf countries and Singapore, which came into force from January 1, 2015. New industries with joint investments may be set up to benefit from this agreement, as well as the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with USA. (With ONA inputs).
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER