Oman reaps benefits of insightful economic plans: Healthy growth in all sectors

New strategies to tackle forthcoming challenges

While addressing the Shura Council recently, Ali Bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, informed members that the nation’s economy achieved good growth in 2011 and 2012 and government future plans include a revision of the Foreign Capital Investment Law.
The GDP at current prices rose to 26,904 million rials in 2011compared to 22,615 million rials in the previous year which meant a growth of 19 per cent.
The announcement of a healthy growth in various economic sectors and formulation of new strategies to tackle forthcoming challenges is a testament to Sultanate’s wise administrative and fiscal policies that envisage a better future for citizens.
Private sector businesses in the country will be upbeat over the proposed revision of the Foreign Capital Investment Law as it is expected to make the investment climate in the country more attractive.
Sultanate has made remarkable achievements in diversifying its oil-based economy by setting up free-zones where investors are encouraged to set up manufacturing industries and other businesses.
Under a healthy and competitive business environment entrepreneurs and traders find ready access to the Sultanate’s markets through smooth and quick procedures. In fact, the business-friendly atmosphere has been much appreciated by the country’s multi-cultural business community, and it is this approach which acts as a catalyst for business growth and contributes to the overall economy.
Opening of Al Duqm Port, which started commercial operations last week, and a proposed railway system linking the Sultanate with other Gulf States are all pointers to a healthy economic atmosphere.
The rail link will boost trade in the region and cut expenses incurred in air and road transportation of goods, apart from creating thousands of jobs for citizens.
Oman’s success story since the 1970th and its many achievements reflect the wise leadership of Sultan Qaboos Bin Said and sheer hard work and determination of the people.
The rich historical and cultural legacy of the country, particularly its maritime historythat records many transoceanic journeys by its able seamen who had developed navigation aids and charts in ancient times, is well documented.
Omani ships sailed to countries like China and America for trade, promotion of culture and building bridges of friendship with people of other cultures. We thus realise that it is not only economical but also natural for the Sultanate to expand its maritime operations for the benefit of its people.
Duqm city and the governorate of Al Wusta (Central Region) at large will directly benefit from the commercial operations of the port which has been designed to receive millions of containers and handle general bulk and liquid cargo.
Industrial and trade activities at this major hub give communities residing in the area an excellent opportunity to better their economic lives and secure their future.
Statistics show that in 2012, 200,000 Omanis were working for first class firms in the country and about 10,000 in Small and Medium Enterprises, a sector that needs greater attention.
The Sultanate’s focus has for many years been on all-round development. But for this all-round development, the government has been building a strong base. And that’s through building a solid infrastructure. In other words, this means ensuring a wide network of roads, even in the farthest corners of the land, along with new airports and ports. For this purpose, many millions of rials have been spent in the past seven five-year plans. The focus of the current eighth plan is no different.
With a strong infrastructure in place, the government will certainly speed up the pace of industrialization in the public and private sectors. This is necessary for many reasons and one is the need to provide jobs to thousands of young Omanis graduating from the country’s schools, colleges and universities. In recent months, the momentum to employ Omanis has picked up speed. Since the beginning of 2011, more than 100,000 youth have been employed in the public and private sectors. This number will grow in the coming years and the Sultanate has drafted a number of foolproof plans to ensure more employment. A number of them are in various stages of implementation and many will be implemented in the coming years.