Oman discusses replacing foreigners with locals in government companies

Reuters

Posted at Oct 21 2020 11:55 PM

DUBAI - Oman is considering replacing foreign workers with Omanis in government-run companies, the state news agency ONA reported on Wednesday.

The labour minister discussed the plans, which include a programme to give leadership roles to Omani nationals, with the Oman Investment Authority (OIA) and the heads of government-run companies, ONA said.

Oman, rated "junk" by all major ratings agencies, saw its debt climb to around 60% of gross domestic product at the end of 2019 from less than 5% of GDP five years earlier.

Privatising state assets and increasing jobs for Omanis have long been part of plans to overhaul the country's creaking finances hit by lower oil prices, and now the coronavirus pandemic.

"Government firms' officials attending the meeting expressed their preparedness to execute plans for the replacement of expatriates and provide jobs for national manpower," ONA said.

The meeting also discussed how to increase productivity at national companies, ONA added.

Oman on Wednesday started marketing a U.S. dollar bond, hoping to raise upwards of $3 billion, sources have previously said, as the small oil producer seeks to boost state finances.