Oman extends expat visa ban

Oman's expat visa ban is aimed at improving employment rates within the civilian population. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 28 April 2019

Oman extends expat visa ban

  • Visa ban will be extended in the construction and cleaning industries
  • The ban has led to a significant reduction in local unemployment

DUBAI: Oman’s visa ban on certain professions has been extended for a further six months as the country continues in its push to cut unemployment among its citizens.

The ban extension issued by the Ministry of Manpower will see a continued freeze on the issuance of visas for people working in the construction and cleaning industries, national daily Times of Oman reported.

There are exceptions to the extension including small and medium enterprises registered with the Public Authority for SME development.

Oman introduced the expat visa bans in January 2018 for a six-month period for certain professions.

There have been two extensions since then and it has also been expanded to cover other industries and professions – during that time tens of thousands of Omanis have found work.

Historically Gulf countries have been dependent on expatriate workers to power their economies; with a 2013 study indicating as much as 71 percent of Oman’s labor force were foreign-nationals.
In Qatar, expatriate workforce was as high as 95 percent while in the UAE it was 94 percent; 83 percent in Kuwait; 64 percent in Bahrain and 49 percent in Saudi Arabia.
The Gulf states have since launched nationalization programs to absorb more of their citizens into the labor force, as well as address high levels of unemployment.
Between December 2018 and November last year, a total of 60,807 expatriate workers left Oman’s labor force or an equivalent 3.6 percent reduction in their numbers.

Oman's expat population has dropped significantly since the introduction of the ban.


White House says Trump regrets not raising tariffs higher

US President Donald Trump arrives at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on Sunday. Trump had been trying to use the conference to rally global leaders to do more to stimulate their economies, as fears rise of a potential slowdown in the US ahead of his reelection. (AP)
Updated 26 August 2019

White House says Trump regrets not raising tariffs higher

  • President’s comments appear at first to mark a rare moment of self-reflection by the US leader

TOKYO: President Donald Trump said Sunday that he had second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China, but the White House later reversed that message saying the president was misinterpreted and that his only regret in hiking tariffs is that he didn’t raise them higher. Trump faced a tense reception from world leaders meeting amid mounting anxiety of a global economic slowdown at the Group of Seven summit in France. During a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trump suggested he had qualms about the spiraling conflict. “Yeah. For sure,” Trump told reporters when asked if he has second thoughts about escalating the dispute, adding he has “second thoughts about everything.”
But hours later, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement saying Trump’s comments about US tariffs on China were “greatly misinterpreted.”
She said Trump only responded “in the affirmative — because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher.” The comments appeared at first to mark a rare moment of self-reflection by the famously hard-nosed leader. But the later reversal fit a pattern for Trump in recoiling from statements he believes suggest weakness.

HIGHLIGHTS

• President Donald Trump faced a tense reception from world leaders meeting amid mounting anxiety of a global economic slowdown at the Group of Seven summit in France.

• White House said comments about US tariffs on China were ‘greatly misinterpreted.’

Trump had been trying to use the conference to rally global leaders to do more to stimulate their economies, as fears rise of a potential slowdown in the US ahead of his reelection. Trump’s counterparts, including Johnson, are trying to convince him to back off his trade wars with China and other countries, which they see as contributing to the economic weakening.

US-Japan agreement
Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Sunday a deal in principle on a major bilateral trade deal.
“It’s a very big transaction,” Trump said after talks with Abe on the sidelines of the G7 summit.
“Billions and billions of dollars,” he said. “It involves agriculture, it involves e-commerce. It involves many things. We’ve agreed in principle.”

Amazon fires
Also on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that world leaders at the G7 summit have agreed to help the countries affected by the huge wildfires ravaging the Amazon rainforest as soon as possible.
“We are all agreed on helping those countries which have been hit by the fires as fast as possible,” he told journalists.