Attractive environment must for investments

By Staff Reporter — MUSCAT: Jan 24 – The State Council on Tuesday approved a study on development polices for the private sector and the labour market challenges prepared by the economic committee. Dr Yahya bin Mahfoudh Al Mantheri, Chairman, State Council, praised the efforts of the Economic Committee and the technical team involved in the completion of the study and said that it would of valuable input for reform measures to be undertaken in this sector. Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah al Harthy, head of the Economic Commission, said the committee examined the draft of the Ninth Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) and evaluated the report of both the World Bank and the Supreme Council for Planning on the overall performance of the Eighth Five-Year Development Plan.
908093It added that initially the challenges to the private sector should be analysed and that economic growth in all economies depends on three elements, which included the capital market, labour market and technological advancement. To achieve the goals of the Ninth Five-Year Plan, it is imperative to remove the obstacles that hinder the implementation of the plan and pointed out that before achieving the targeted growth rates of the plan, it is required to examine indicators related to economic diversification and identify the most promising sectors for the Omani economy, focus on them to enable achieve the common goals of the government and the private sector.
He said that the critical obstacles must be removed to enable the private sector to play its role, and enable robust policies and procedures for the labour market, improve the quality of governance and improve the environment for attracting investment.
Al Harthy said low oil prices has increased the reliance on the private sector, pointing out that investment share of the private sector is approximately 52 per cent of the investment programme for the Ninth Five-Year plan (2016-2020).
“The committee said that addressing these challenges requires an integrated package of policies to achieve government goals in support of growth and job creation on the one hand, and enable investments on the implementation, so that the economic viability is established.”
He added that the labour market is one of the most important sectors supporting and influencing the development of the private sector and it must give more flexibility in dealing with changes in the market and lead to an increase of foreign workers. Simultaneously, he called upon taking necessary measures to sustain Omanisation to help achieve its goals.
Al Harthy felt that the success of the Ninth Five-Year-Plan in achieving economic diversification depends on the private sector’s ability to achieve the targeted investments, and added that the private sector can achieve the target percentages only if they can avail of attractive, low-risk environment.
908078Ahmed bin Sulaiman Saleh al Maimani, added that the objective of the study is to monitor the important challenges faced by the private sector and to shed light on labour market policies.
He pointed the study derives its importance from the role of the private sector as a partner to the public sector in investment programmes, and both need to contribute equally to the ninth and final strategy ‘Oman 2020, in addition to contributing to the gross domestic product of all sectors.
The recommendations included generation of good practices and determination of mechanisms to improve competitiveness, and improving the environment for attracting investment.
Meanwhile, the State Council approved the study prepared by the Economic Committee on ‘The Challenges Facing Private Sector and labour market policies.’ It also approved the formation of a technical drafting committee to include the inputs by members on the study.
The Council approved the desire of the Culture, Media and Tourism Committee to conduct a study on Challenges Facing the Craft Industries and means to address them.
The agenda of the meeting included a number of topics including the report of the Secretariat General on the activities of the State Council during the period between the third and fourth ordinary sessions of the second annual sitting for the sixth term.