Number of expatriates on the rise despite government plans to reduce their proportion
Published: 15:26 July 8, 2015
By Fahad Al Mukrashi,Correspondent
Muscat: Outward remittances from Oman’s expatriate community stood at 3.96 billion rials (Dh37.7 billion) in 2014, an increase of 460 million rials compared to 2013.
This amounts to a 13.1 per cent increase, according to the Central Bank of Oman (CBO).
The remittances in 2013 amounted to 3.5 billion rials, compared with 3.11 billion rials in 2012.
The total remittances for the past three years stood at 10.6 billion rials.
The CBO attributes this to an increase in the number of expatriate workers in the private sector, with 1.57 million workers in 2014, compared with 1.53 million workers in 2013, with an increase of 42,891 workers.
The CBO said that the phenomenon was due to the domestic demand in foreign workers in various sectors, particularly construction.
The Ministry of Manpower last year stated plans to reduce the number of expatriate workers in the country, bringing their proportion of the population down from 44 per cent to 33 per cent. The figures, however, show that the number of expatriates continues to rise.
Moreover, Oman is going soon to put in place some regulations to curb unregulated trade, as it has negative effects on the national economy, with millions of rials being transferred out of the country as a result.
A committee has been formed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to combat such trade to crack down on companies that do not record their businesses and shut down fictitious companies.
Oman has started to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for Omani entrepreneurs, as one of the solutions to combat proxy trade.
SME programmes have seen huge demand from nationals who want to start their own businesses with flexible loans from the Omani government since 2013.