OSC to hold annual conference on January 9, 10

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Dr Hamad Al Dhahab

MUSCAT: Oman Society of Contractors (OSC) is organising a workshop as part of its annual conference on January 9 and 10, 2017 at Grand Millennium Hotel Muscat.
Under the name “Construction Sector needs an upturn”, the events will provide a platform for open dialogue between stakeholders to reach an understanding about partnership concepts, opportunities that should be made available and supportive facilitation that is needed to upturn the sector.
OSC as the single most facilitator for the construction sector is engaged with key stakeholders to drive the needed changes that will propel the sector forward and prepare it for the challenging path ahead.
The private sector can initiate a collective action to participate in feasible development projects and make investments in partnership with the government.
“This is a dynamic approach on the part of the private sector to keep the momentum going, helping the government in ways more than one”, said Shahswar Al Balushi, CEO of OSC.

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Shahswar-G-Al-Balushi

On the first day of the conference, the opening address will be made by Dr Hamad al Dhahab, Chairman of OSC followed by a speech by Talal Al Rahbi, Deputy Secretary General at the Supreme Council for Planning on opportunities from Tanfeedh initiatives.
The oil price is still fluid and the recovery has not been sufficient to allow effective intervention to help stimulate the economy. Government austerity measures will continue. Understanding the budget is key in determining the investment mood.
Ashok Hariharan of KPMG will elaborate on the budget impact and give a clear flavour of the investment for 2017.
Al Balushi, in his keynote address will brief the audience of what has been done and what to be expected. This will lay the ground for the various sessions ahead.
This will be followed by a number of panel discussions moderated by experts from various sectors of the economy.
According to OSC, market conditions and payments are the major issues in the sector.
The discussion will focus on business opportunities for tourism, logistic and manufacturing sectors in the next 24 months.
Also it will discuss at length the 2017 budget and its role for a fair economic stimulus to help fund national development projects.
882945Payments for old and present government projects continue to be challenging.
Is the new cap set for 2017 budget sufficient to cover that? If the new cap will only suffice to cover old payments and no provisions are made for the continuation of work, is the sector ready to take the risk and continue to service the contracts? If no, what are the alternatives?
The discussions will try to find answers from stakeholders to these issues which are haunting Oman’s construction sector.
“We must diversify the economy away from dependence on oil and gas. Private sector must be given the opportunity to invest in national projects in key sectors. To achieve this, we must encourage innovation, we ought to identify and organise opportunities and we should open the possibilities for the private sector to participate in all type of economic activities with ease”, said al Balushi while briefing about the conference and the workshops.
The Contractors’ community established the Oman Society of Contractors (OSC) in 2007 under the Ministerial Decision No. (38/2007) issued by the Ministry of Social Development which falls under the royal decree (14/2000).
OSC represents the interest of its members and helps in addressing the varied challenges facing the construction industry. It achieves this through a process of engagement, dialogue and stakeholders’ alignment.

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