A day to celebrate the future of industry

Ali Al Matani  – ali.matani2@gmail.com – The Sultanate has been witnessing rapid developments in all areas and everywhere. It is being felt not only by citizens within the country, but also in the entire region and the world. This is the result of the wise and farsighted leadership of the Sultanate.
There is massive industrialisation in the country, which is turning it into a major economic force as well as creating a large number of jobs for Omanis.
The country celebrated the Day of Industry on February 9 this year, as it is celebrated every year in commemoration of the visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos to the Rusayl Industrial Estate on this day in 1991.
This is seen as an annual celebration of the developments and achievements made in the sector. We have seen that the contribution of the sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been increasing every year.
This is an occasion when industrialists in the country meet to celebrate the achievements. It is being celebrated for 27 years now. They meet on such occasions, explore opportunities and prospects of further development. They set a goal and achieve it.
All this has been possible because the concerned government organisations are cooperating and coordinating with the sector, listening, considering and responding to the industrialists’ demand.
These annual meetings are held to look into the prospects of the industry and opportunities for its development. Free and frank discussions are held which contribute to solutions for the challenges faced by the sector. This has been happening for many years. This has helped in laying a solid foundation for the growth of industrial sector.
Statistics indicate the contribution of the manufacturing sector in the GDP increased to RO 1.883 billion by the end of September 2017, a 11.9 per cent growth compared with the same period in 2016.
The contribution of the industrial sector to GDP also increased by 9.3 per cent by the end of September last year. This is an impressive growth, which is being felt in all areas of life in the Sultanate.
These developments could not have been possible had it not been for the regulators, including Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Public Establishment for Industrial Estates, Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (Ithraa), Export Credit Guarantee Agency of Oman, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Oman Development Bank.
These and other entities are supporting and reinforcing the sector in their respective areas. They are working to make investments successful. They are supporting bold initiatives that can be an addition to this sector.
The laboratories of the Economic Diversification Program are opening up wider horizons for development by offering initiatives which can attract investments.
The role of investors and industrialists is to continue investing in this sector and keeping pace with the developments taking place everywhere in the world, by introducing modern technologies in the industry or utilising natural resources and remanufacturing them, instead of just exporting them as raw materials.
The hopes and aspirations will remain high as this sector is the wheel through which the national economy can move ahead and take the rest of the sectors along with it towards growth and development. Therefore, everybody is pinning hopes on the industrial sector. It is one of the most important sectors of the economy. It will be successful through concerted efforts made collectively.
We are sure these efforts would be ultimately successful. They will create opportunities. We are confident because there is a team spirit everywhere in the sector. This will also help solve all problems being faced by our beloved country.