Oman’s finance ministry told state companies on Wednesday to replace foreign workers with locals, as part of efforts to develop the national workforce, state-owned Oman News Agency reported.
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Low oil prices and the economic slowdown caused by the new coronavirus outbreak are straining the finances of Oman, a relatively small energy producer with debt rated “junk” by all the major rating agencies.
It also urged private firms to ask non-Omani employees “to leave permanently” – a sweeping move in Oman, where more than a third of the country’s 4.6 million residents are expatriates, according to official statistics.
Over the past few weeks, Oman – which as of Wednesday had registered 2,274 coronavirus cases and 10 related deaths – has announced budget cuts to stabilise the economy.
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