Abd al-Nabi al-Makki on Sunday attributed the improvements to growth in the agricultural, fisheries, education and health industries.

"These sectors create a highly conductive environment for investment," said al-Makki.

Government statistics show a 3.1% increase in per capita income in the sultanate, which has a population of 2.5 million people. With inflation falling and the price of oil increasing, the economy appears to be a good health.

Asides from oil and gas exports, Oman has a thriving agricultural sector. Fish and seafood exports alone generated $34 million in 2000.

Growth

Oman became a member of the World Trade Organisation in October 2000, and has been marketing itself as an international centre for business and commerce to rival other Gulf states.

The Omani government is implementing its sixth 5-year economic plan, launched in 2000, to reduce its dependence on oil and expatriate labour.

The economic plan focuses on diversifying the labour market and building industrial estates in areas with a high numbers of manual workers. 

Al-Makki says that the Omani economy is on track to continue expanding and generating new international investment.