The Sultanate in line with the direction and guidance of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, has embarked on formulating a roadmap for the future-“oman 2040.”
Oman Vision 2040 will provide the guidelines for next two decades, under which the government can draft the next five-year plan, which would be the first five-year plan to be implemented under the guidance of Oman Vision 2040. The plan period would commence from 2021. The Supreme Council for Planning is looking to make the first draft of Oman Vision 2040 available for discussion by the end of 2018.
The Royal Directives of His Majesty has stipulated the formation of the Main Committee chaired by HH Sayyid Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said. Relevant committees were formed to prepare the future vision “Oman 2040,” including the Technical Committee, as well as the sectoral committees that comprise three committees according to the themes of the vision; “People and Society” committee, “Economy and Development” committee, and “Governance and Institutional Performance” committee. In addition, National Priorities and Strategies Alignment Committee, Organisation and Follow up Committee, and the National Conference Preparation Team were formed. Members of these committees comprise more than 100 people from various stakeholders, representing all segments of the Omani society. The Main Committee has set up Oman 2040 Office and provided it with qualified Omanis to offer the needed technical and administrative support to the project.
The Royal Directives of His Majesty stipulate that the future vision “Oman 2040” will be thoroughly developed and precisely formulated in the light of wide community consensus and participation of the different social groups, so that the vision is fully integrated into the economic and social realities and objectively orientated towards the future foresight, as a key guide and reference for planning in the next two decades.
The foremost objective of the proposed draft is to present Oman as an attractive investment destination for both local and foreign investors in order to diversify the non-hydrocarbon sector. Currently Oman is in the third year of the ninth five-year plan and under this plan most of the planned executions are underway. The Supreme Council is optimistic of achieving all the goals set up for the period. Since 2014, a lot of work has been done in the direction of the economic diversification, most prominent of which is the Tanfeedh programme.
The 9th Five-year Development Plan is considered the final in a series of developmental plans comprising Oman Vision 2020, which seeks to achieve financial and economic stability, diversify the economic base and sources of national income, alter the role played by government in the Sultanate’s economy, expand the participation of the private sector and enhance the quality of life for Omani citizens. Oman Vision 2020 also provides a roadmap for introducing the futuristic vision “Oman 2040.” The ninth five-year plan identified five promising sectors for economic diversification, whether by increasing government revenues and exports or by offering more and better employment opportunities. The five sectors are: manufacturing, transportation and logistics, tourism, fisheries and mining. The plan was prepared in light of a number of challenges, most notable of which are the fluctuating global oil prices, the geopolitical situation in the region and the young population structure that will pressurise the employment market in the coming years. The vision of the current plan is to rise to the challenge and implement practical solutions to these.
The office of Oman 2040 has held already held meetings with entrepreneurs, businessmen and members of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The meetings were aimed to introduce them to Oman vision 2040, the flow of work, and to discuss the strategic directions and objectives that were the outputs of a number of communication initiatives across the Sultanate.
HE Talal Bin Suliman Al Rahbi, Head of the technical committee in Oman 2040 said, “The participation of entrepreneurs, businessmen and members of Oman Chamber of Commerce is essential to contribute to Oman 2040 participation goals. The first execution plan of the vision will be kicked off in 2021, while some of the initiatives and outputs can be executed in 2019 and 2020.”
In his comments on ‘Oman 2040: New horizon’s, Dr Adham Turki Al Said, Assistant Professor of Economics at the College of Economics and Political Science, Sultan Qaboos University, underlined the need for a new economic model to meet the requirements of future. “Vision 2020 did not achieve all its goals and objectives. Changing times and dynamics require a new vision. Domestic, regional and global shifts necessitate a new perspective for the future,” he adds. Outlining the objectives of Vision 2040, he highlighted the need of creating wealth through economic diversification and private sector partnership; ensuring a balanced governorates development; preserving environment sustainability and building world-class infrastructure and livable cities.
The Sultanate has all the ingredients for diversification such as world-class infrastructure and human capital. All the key sectors identified by government for economic diversification such as agriculture and fisheries, logistics, manufacturing, mining and minerals and tourism have huge potential. But in order to unlock this potential, there is need to connect the missing dots.