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Diversification to help ease challenges

MUSCAT

The current economic challenges are a stark reminder of the importance and criticality of diversification of not just Government revenue sources but also the whole ecosystem. This is to adapt to the current situation to ensure sustainability in this challenging environment, according to experts at the annual international conference of the ICAI Muscat Chapter.

The Sultanate is witnessing transformational changes, including the taxation reforms taking the economy in the right direction, said the panel of experts at the discussion `Oil and Beyond – Future Omani Economy’ as part of the ninth annual conference.

The discussion was moderated by Oman Food Investments Holding CEO Saleh Mohammed Al Shanfari and addressed by Omantel CEO Sheikh Talal Al Mamari, Bank Nizwa CEO Khaled Al Kayed, Bank Muscat CFO T Ganesh and EY partner Sanjay Kawatra.

The conference was inaugurated by Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman HE Said Saleh Al Kiyumi in the presence of Indian Ambassador HE Indra Mani Pandey. Among those who addressed the conference were CBFS dean Ahmed Mohsin Al Ghassani, former minister from India K Rahman Khan and ICAI accounting standards board chairman SB Zaware.

The panelists commended the excellent fiscal balance management by the government which has been able to bring down budget breakeven oil price from $105 per barrel in 2015 to a current level of approximately $75 by prudent optimisation of expenditure.

Special Economic Zones and Free Zones have started attracting huge investments in the manufacturing and logistics sectors, they said. International investors, especially from China and India had been showing enormous interest to shift part of their production bases to the Sultanate.

ICAI Muscat chapter chairman Mubeen Khan said plans were underway to organise a mega conference in association of other stakeholders to promote Indian investments in the Sultanate. Senior executives from top Indian corporates would be invited for the meet, he added.

Staff Reporter