The stable economy has an "A" sovereign risk rating, making it second only to Saudi Arabia in GCC member states' in terms of rankings. GDP growth has been strong, led primarily by oil and gas. In 2009, it was second in the GCC region in terms of GDP growth, at 3.6%, behind Qatar's 8.5%. The country is actively pursuing a development plan based on diversification, industrialization and privatization to reduce the oil sector's contribution to GDP.
Currently, Oman offers a competitive environment for International investors. It was ranked 12th for Government Efficiency, according to the World Economic Forum. It is one of the top ten most secure nations in the world to do business, and has a strong track record for controlling corruption and streamlining its regulatory environment.
In 2009, a free trade agreement between the United States and Oman came into force. This FTA is one of only 13 currently active bilateral and multilateral FTAs entered into by the United States.
The economy of the Sultanate of Oman has been growing steadily since the last two decades, taking advantage of its geographic location along the Europe-Asia trade lane and in the middle of a broader region spanning from Eastern Africa to the southern borders of Central Asia, and India to Pakistan.
The stability of the country has largely participated in its progress and prosperity. It enjoys solid financials, a high GDP per capita, along the other GCC countries, a positive trade balance, and is abundant in natural resources especially oil, gas, and minerals. Oman’s FDI has increased significantly in the last year, reaching $12 billion since 2001.
The Omani GDP is heavily dependent on the Oil sector, in 2005 the sector contributed to 49% of the country GDP and decreased to 40% in 2009. Based on Omani Government Vision, the share of oil and gas in the GDP should decrease to 20% by 2020.
Oman is planning to boost mining and quarrying in order to contribute more than 2% of GDP by 2020 with an estimated yearly growth of 10.8%. Tourism is a growing sector of the economy and is expected to grow 7.5% annually.
Infrastructure projects throughout the country are planned by the government. Existing ports, airports and roads are to be expanded to accommodate higher capacities. Omani electricity is heavily dependent on gas, while alternative and coal natural resources are now more and more discussed and proposed as means of diversification from gas.