OMAN - Economy
Vice Chairman, Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit
Talal Al Rahbi has spent most of his working life in public service, starting his career at Oman’s elected lower house of parliament (A’Shura Council), before returning to the US to complete his MBA in public policy and management at the University of Oregon. Earlier, he earned his bachelor degree in economics from the University of Louisiana. After completing his MBA studies, he gained valuable experience at the local government level in Lane County (Oregon). Al Rahbi was decorated by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos with the Civil Order of Oman in 2015 and was also honored the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Oregon in 2017. Among many board and representative positions, he currently serves as a board member of the Institute of Public Administration, a member of the National Program for Fiscal Balance Committee, and a member of the Technical Committee of Investment Program.
2021 saw the launch of the Invest in Oman program to attract private investments to the Sultanate while also supporting Omani exports on the global stage. This was done alongside the National Program for Financial Sustainability with the ultimate goal of achieving economic sustainable growth as highlighted in the 10th Five-Year Developmental Plan. The Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit saw the need to ensure that all efforts in the country relating to these are closely monitored and followed up on. Thus, with active and cooperative efforts with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Investment Promotion, the unit started implementing the program’s dashboard, where the progress of an identified set of international indicators and indices backed by 130 economic and developmental initiatives and projects are monitored. Since the launch of the dashboard, decision-making and the necessary interventions are scientifically made based on precise and unified tangible reporting. Efforts of the unit and other private and public stakeholders are clearly reflected and accounted for by means of an evidence-based approach that then translates to an unbiased measurement methodology of defining success. One key role of the dashboard is to empower various instruments of the country to make strategic and knowledge-based decisions.
The Sultanate has placed great efforts in developing the series of Five-Year Development plans since the first inception of the plan in 1975 under the guidance of the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said. Presently, and on a longer term and vision, Oman Vision 2040 places emphasis on four key pillars namely: Economy and Development; People and Society; Institutional Performance; and a Sustainable Environment. These priorities are then translated to actionable and sustainable cornerstones in the 10th Five-Year Plans. Having clearly defined the cornerstones with tangible and measurable outcomes, various efforts have been executed to ensure that essential programs, to ensure the sustainability, have been put in place. Taking into consideration the challenges of the economy globally, the unit has prioritized matters related to finance and the economy. The aim is to ensure that the Sultanate grows and remains at the forefront in terms of global competitiveness.
For sectors such as manufacturing to thrive, there will always be a dependency on natural resources as material supply and energy supply to empower it. The Sultanate is blessed to have the key ingredients to fuel and pave the road to success, hence contributing toward the progress and prosperity of the country. The unit acknowledges that individual excellence across various organizations can come to naught should they not be well orchestrated. In 2016, the Tanfeedh program aimed at enhancing economic diversification away from the reliance of petrochemical and hydrocarbon was launched. Various aspects of the overall economy were taken into consideration, and the monumental task of ensuring that all concerted efforts are unified with a common goal was undertaken by the unit. Facilitation since then has become second nature to us.
Vision 2040 has embarked on the journey of building a learned society that will then pave the way for a knowledge-based society and a knowledge-based economy. In order to achieve that, the unit has placed emphasis on ensuring the continuous and sustainable development of national capabilities. The principal belief behind this development is based on efficiently empowering national talents with the right knowledge, skills, and capabilities to lead in evolving and cutting-edge scientific research. By doing this, the Sultanate will benefit as hub for knowledge and innovation, contributing toward the global race. For any economy to boast of having a talent-based economy, one must walk down the journey of maturing from the foundation of a knowledge-based economy.
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