Oman’s position as a regional shipping hub continues to grow, with re-exports from the country increasing by 33 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with last year.
Figures from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) show that the Sultanate earned OMR114.9 million from re-exports more in the first three months of 2020, than it did during the corresponding period last year.
Earnings from re-exports amounted to OMR463.4 at the end of March 2020, compared to OMR348.5 million at the end of March 2019, owing to increased re-exporting of goods to the Sultanate’s trade partners.
Qatar and the UAE are the two GCC countries to which re-exports from Oman increased significantly. Re-exports to Qatar increased by 75 percent, with the total value of goods re-exported there increasing from OMR 78.9 million in 2019, to OMR 138 million this year.
For the UAE, re-exports numbers rose by 54 percent, corresponding to an increase from OMR96.1 million last year, to OMR 148.1 million in 2020.
“The reason Oman’s re-export capacity has increased is because of the infrastructure Omani ports have, compared to the region, and the geographical positioning of the country,” said an official at a leading ports management company in the country. “This means it is easier for shipping companies to use these ports.
“Oman’s geopolitical position is also very helpful to it,” he added. “The country’s strategic location means it is on many regional shipping routes.”
In terms of percentages, India was Oman’s largest re-export partner. When translated into figures, however, India accounted for just OMR18 million of re-exports, up from a million rials last year. Re-exports to the UK earned Oman another OMR21.2 million, an increase of 287.2 percent from the OMR5.5 million brought in during the same period last year.
Conversely, the value of goods re-exported to Iran dropped significantly, from OMR58.8 million to OMR34.9 million, reflecting a 40.7 percent decrease in re-exports.
Some of the major items re-exported by Oman include vehicle and aeroplane parts, boats, mass transport vehicles, goods transport, and excavation vehicles, drilling machines used in the oil and gas sector, gold ingots, jewelry, metal ores, fuel oils, machinery, foodstuff, scientific instruments, tobacco products, clothing, washing powder, fruit, and household appliances.
According to Manafeth, the NCSI’s trade database, in 2019, Oman’s re-exports had a total value of OMR1.464 billion. Tobacco products provided the biggest share of that, at OMR181.5 million, followed by parts designed for tractors and passenger vehicles that amounted to about OMR111.6 million.
Aeroplane parts contributed another OMR67.7 million, with the re-export of scientific instruments providing a further OMR20.3 million, and jewelry bringing Oman OMR15.8 million in re-export revenue.
Efforts made towards turning Oman into a regional trade hub have also seen it rank second in the Arab World, on the World Bank’s Logistics Performance in the World Index, which was published in collaboration with British real estate company Savills.
A statement issued by Oman News Agency said: “A virtual seminar held in the British capital on global logistical performance confirms that the Sultanate has provided important logistics services in the region and is facilitating the smooth interconnectedness between maritime and air transport, which allows enhancing its role as an attractive location for operators and investors in the international market.”