Sta­ble Oman among safest in the world

Fis­cal re­forms have helped the coun­try weather the global down­turn, says WEF re­port

Times of Oman - - FRONT PAGE - GAU­TAM VISWANATHAN SYED HAITHAM HASSAN

MUSCAT: Oman is one of the safest and most fi­nan­cially sound coun­tries in the world, ac­cord­ing to a global re­port. And the coun­try’s “sub­stan­tial fis­cal re­forms” have helped weather the tough global down­turn, ac­cord­ing to the new re­port by the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum (WEF).

The Sul­tanate was ranked first out of 137 coun­tries in terms of its rate of in­fla­tion, clocked at just 1.1 per cent.

Oman was also placed third glob­ally for hav­ing the least amount of or­gan­ised crime and fifth be­cause of its low rate of ille- gal fi­nan­cial ac­tiv­ity, in the WEF’s Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness Re­port for 2017-18.

Low taxes meant Oman came sixth world­wide as a des­ti­na­tion peo­ple wanted to work in, and ninth as one where or­gan­i­sa­tions were happy to in­vest.

Its po­lice force was also ranked one of the most ef­fi­cient in the world, with the coun­try also be­ing ranked 10th in the world for ef­fec­tive gov­ern­ment spend­ing. Res­i­dents and ex­perts wel­comed the findings, and couldn’t agree more.

Oman also has the world’s low­est preva­lence of malaria and HIV, ac­cord­ing to in­di­ca­tors in the glob­ally recog­nised re­port.

The Sul­tanate jumped four places to be ranked 62nd across 137 economies in the world.

“Oman im­proves in terms of its macro-eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment and higher ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing,” said the re­port. “The gov­ern­ment is pass­ing sub­stan­tial fis­cal re­forms to help the econ­omy ad­just to the new sit­u­a­tion of low oil prices and pre­serve the sus­tain­abil­ity of public fi­nances.

“These re­forms in­clude a cut in fuel sub­si­dies and other dis­tortive fis­cal mea­sures, an in­crease in cor­po­rate tax and the in­tro­duc­tion of a GCC-wide VAT sys­tem in 2018.”

The Bri­tish Royal Air Force’s aer­o­bat­ics team, the Red Ar­rows, will be con­duct­ing their dis­play in Muscat. A state­ment from the Bri­tish em­bassy in Oman read, “The Red Ar­rows will con­duct their dis­play in Muscat from 3pm on Oc­to­ber 3. The best view point should be Shatti al Qu­rum beach — in par­tic­u­lar near the In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Ho­tel.”

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