| Oman | Jan 24, 2022
Oman seeks to craft a future beyond oil and gas with the bold Vision 2040.
The government has devised Vision 2040 to put Oman alongside the developed nations of the world. The plan outlines 12 national priorities and divides them into four pillars: people and society, economy and development, governance and institutional performance, and sustainable environment. This is alongside the 10th Five-Year Development Plan (2021-2025), which represents the executive plan for paving the way to implement Vision 2040. They go hand in hand with overcoming the various challenges in the local and global scene and ensure high economic growth rates. This will be done by achieving financial balance, increasing non-oil revenues, setting financial and investment incentives for the governorates to stimulate trade, and creating job opportunities for the Omani population.
Oman Vision 2040 envisages a diversified and sustainable economy based on technology, knowledge, and innovation. It has revealed a roadmap to a prosperous future, listing different priorities that will allow the country to achieve medium- to long-term results.
First, it aims to improve effectiveness in social spending—filtering projects will enhance government contribution by making it more efficient. At the same time, public-private partnerships will develop productivity and give rise to an economic framework that promotes competitiveness and equality of opportunity, besides boosting the integration process among SMEs.
Economic growth will also be stimulated via innovative projects and IT infrastructure that will empower all sectors, while attracting FDI becomes crucial to meet new global demands and foster investment partnerships.
Another principle is to promote human development and preserve the human capital of the Sultanate, with specified policies that will provide the population with the tools and skills needed to adapt to a rapidly changing global environment.
In the Royal Decree 112/2020, Khamis Saif Hamood Al Jabri was appointed Chairman of the Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-Up Unit, which was established to follow up the achievement of the targets, results, and indicators of the vision, creating a motivating environment to achieve Oman Vision 2040 and following up policies related to easing procedures and facilitating services in addition to other roles and responsibilities. In cooperation between the unit and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Investment Promotion, 2021 saw the launch of the Attracting Private Investments to the Sultanate and Supporting Omani Exports in Foreign Markets Program (Invest in Oman), which aims at unifying and intensifying government efforts to attract private investment as a driver to support the national economy. The Invest in Oman Program, the implementation timeline of which is three years, also underlines the private sector’s role in investment as one of Oman Vision 2040 enablers.
Another implementation program that is in progress is the National Program for Financial Sustainability, which was developed as an extension of the National Program for Fiscal Balance. It aims to elevate the financial position of the Sultanate from balance to sustainability, entailing the alignment of financial policies with the requirements of economic growth. The program is implemented by the Ministry of Finance, starting from 2021 until 2024. Moreover, the National Employment Program (Tashgheel) is one of the current phase requirements. An independent team was dedicated to run the program, reporting to a supervisory committee chaired by the Minister of Labour. The program aims to find sustainable solutions to providing jobs in all sectors and bridge the knowledge and skills gap, a process required by the labor market to ensure the readiness of jobseekers for immediate employment. The implementation timeframe of the program is expected to last for two years.