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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Plans to create AI model for OmanGPT: MTCIT

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Muscat: The Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology reviewed its plans for 2024 and the achievements of 2023 during a press meeting on Sunday.


The meeting is chaired by Saeed bin Hamoud bin Saeed Al Mawali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology.


The 11th Annual Media, themed “Logistics Network and a Thriving Digital Economy,” highlighted the Ministry’s commitment to promoting communication and integration with the media and the general public. It also emphasized the importance of building sustainable and strategic partnerships with local and international media, government agencies, and the private sector.


Al Maawali also pointed out the Ministry's targets in the communications and information technology sector for this year, which include launching the National Unified Portal for Government Electronic Services and implementing several projects for the National Center for Space and Advanced Technology and Artificial Intelligence, including establishing space application accelerators, a space engineering laboratory, cloud partnership, an artificial intelligence studio, a generative artificial intelligence model for Omani content OmanGPT, in addition to launching a center of modernity for the cybersecurity industry.


He pointed out some of the indicators of digital transformation, including: simplifying the procedures of 578 digital services, the performance of government institutions in measuring government digital transformation reached 72%, the value of partnerships and deals that were signed at Comex 2023 reached RO40 million, in addition to the successful testing of the first advanced electronic chips "Oman-1" and "Oman-2" from Omani semiconductors by 100%, and the qualification of 4800 young men and women with advanced digital skills within the Mekin initiative.


He revealed that the Ministry floated 98 tenders during the past year with an estimated value of more than RO612 million, including 56 tenders in the transport and logistics sector with a total value of RO597 million, 32 tenders in the information and communication technology sector with more than RO11 million, and 10 tenders in various fields with a total value of more than RO4 million. Of these tenders, small and medium-sized enterprises had a share of 10%.


Al Maawali stated that the total investment opportunities for the first and second phases of the Clinics and Workshops to Attract Investment for Transport and Logistics amounted to RO1.6 billion; in various fields such as maritime affairs, air transport, and logistics services.


The Ministry organized these workshops in cooperation with the Civil Aviation Authority and the Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit; and with the support of the National Program for Investment and Export Development "Nazdaher".


Construction and Maintenance


Al Maawali revealed that the Ministry has completed awarding contracts for the cost of maintaining asphalt and dirt roads in all governorates of the Sultanate at a cost of more than RO114 million.


Al Maawali also said that the Ministry has paved more than 200 km in 2023, which included adding new lengths, repaving, and rehabilitating existing roads that were damaged by weather conditions at a cost of about RO96 million.


Growth and Investment


To increase the value of investments in the transport and logistics sector; Al Maawali said that the Ministry has announced the executive program for the Oman Logistics Center 2025 and is proceeding with the implementation of the program's initiatives.


Al Maawali added that the number of ships received by Omani ports in 2023 reached about 11,000 ships, and the volume of general and bulk cargo reached more than 93 million tons. In addition, 163,000 new operating cards were issued for land transport vehicles.


Digital Transformation


Al Maawali added that the number of transactions completed through the integration platform for 2023 reached 262 million transactions, and the efforts of the government's digital transformation program resulted in the development of 39 platforms and electronic portals.


2024 Targets


Regarding the Ministry's targets in achieving Oman Vision 2040 for 2024 in the transport and logistics sector; Eng. Al Maawali said that the Ministry seeks to establish small and medium-sized dry docks and a project to build and maintain medium and large ships. The Ministry also seeks to launch the first hydrogen-powered station in the Sultanate, continue with the procedures for the joint railway project (Sohar-Abu Dhabi), and prepare a draft railway law.


Green Mobility


On the sidelines of the 11th media meeting; The Ministry announced the launch of the Green Mobility Award and the organization of the Second Green Mobility Forum during the current year. The Omani Logistics Day was also announced during the meeting, which the Sultanate of Oman will celebrate for the first time this year on April 30 of each year.


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