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Liberal trade policy leads to impressive economic perfomance
26
Jun '08
A liberal trade regime has been integral to Oman's impressive economic performance over the past few years, with high real GDP growth, low inflation, and surpluses in both its overall fiscal position and external current account, according to a report on the trade policies and practices of Oman published by the WTO Secretariat.

An additional favourable factor is that Oman has moved to improve its investment climate. Nonetheless, the report indicates that a number of activities are still subject to FDI restrictions (e.g. tourism, and internal waterway and taxi transportation).

The report also notes that a key element of Oman's reform process relates to full economic integration under the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), of which the customs union component was launched on 1 January 2003. Oman also participates in the Pan Arab Free Trade Area (PAFTA), and has signed a trade agreement (not yet in force) with the United States.

The report also stresses that Oman needs to bring some elements of its trade regime into greater conformity with WTO provisions. Continued reforms, including dismantling of the remaining impediments to FDI, and further improvement of Oman's multilateral commitments, both on goods and services, would contribute to better resource allocation, and increase the predictability of its trade regime.

The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government of Oman, will be the basis for the first TPR of Oman by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 25 and 27 June 2008.

Continued...

World Trade Organization

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