Friday, June 25, 2021 | Dhu al-Qaadah 14, 1442 H
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Strong industrial sector key to development

Recently, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion announced the launch of 50 industrial investment opportunities for those who wish to invest in these projects in the near future.

These project opportunities are expected to attract investments of more than RO 200 million.

Qais bin Mohammed al Yousuf, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, unveiled these project proposals in the presence of a number of Omani ambassadors.

The initiative aims to create job opportunities for Omanis, as well as raise the Sultanate’s classification in various international indicators. It also aims to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and support economic development in various governorates across the Sultanate.

The Omani industrial sector has expanded during the last five decades, helping add non-oil income sources, while positioning the country for future investments in line with the Oman 2040 vision — a goal that will help stimulate economic activity and encourage Omanis to work in the private sector.

The tremendous efforts exerted during this period are evident from the industrial cities distributed across the country, starting with Rusayl Industrial City.

Duqm, the latest hub for industry, has already become a magnet for investment. The government has offered many incentives besides financial support and direct exemptions to improve the investment climate.

But some were able to defraud this sector during those years by establishing dubious industrial projects on which millions of rials were invested and squandered.

The individuals, as well as officials who contributed to the companies turning sick, were not brought to account. The collapse of projects formed as public joint stock companies led to losses to shareholders, especially small investors.

Many Omanis lost their jobs as a result.

Due to instability of national labour in this sector, the industrial sector failed to achieve 30 per cent Omanisation during the past fifty years.

Today, the percentage of workers in the industrial sector (Omanis in addition to expatriates) is about 10 per cent of the total number of people employed by the private sector, according to 2019 statistics.

As for the percentage of Omanis in the industrial sector, it amounts only to 14 per cent of the total, underscoring the great potential to create more job opportunities for nationals.

With the inauguration of the 50 industrial projects, everyone expects that job opportunities will be granted to Omanis in this sector and double them annually.

Today the Sultanate, by promoting transparency and governance in both public and private sector institutions, will inevitably contribute to new industrial sector that supports the growth of an advanced industrial base.

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