Muscat, Feb 10 - The keenly anticipated ‘Ocean Economy and Future Technology’ (OEFT) conference kicks off today, Monday, February 11, at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, with leading lights from around the world expected to offer their perspectives on opportunities for the Sultanate linked to emerging technologies, as well the Blue Economy.
The opening ceremony will be held under the auspices of His Highness Sayyid Shihab bin Tareq al Said, Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan, and Chairman of The Research Council. Keynote remarks from the Abdulsalam al Murshidi, Executive President of the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) — the largest sovereign wealth fund of the Sultanate of Oman — will set the tone for three days of deliberations on the multi-trillion dollar potential of the global ocean economy and its benefits for the Sultanate.
Over the three-day event, the conference will touch upon the trends that are forming the future Ocean Economy, including disruptive and oceanology, concepts and international case studies. Various sessions will examine future ocean technologies with emphasis on, operational enhancements, emerging oceanology business opportunities, regulatory challenges and the impact on current and future careers.
The keynote speaker of this morning’s inaugural session is Ambassador Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary General Special Envoy for the Ocean. Ambassador Thomson is leading the UN’s advocacy and public outreach efforts inside and outside of the UN system, ensuring that the many positive outcomes of The Ocean Conference held in 2017, are fully implemented.
This will be followed by a panel discussion on the theme, ‘Ocean Economy and Science Diplomacy’ moderated by Paul Holthus, CEO — World Ocean Council (WOC), the only international, cross-sectoral alliance for private sector leadership and collaboration in ocean sustainability, stewardship and science. A not-for-profit organisation, WOC oversees a network of over 35,000 ocean industry stakeholders around the world.
The panel features renowned experts notably Sir Peter Gluckman, Chair — International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), who is also President-Elect of the International Science Council (ISC); Adm Muhammad Khorsheed, Head of Maritime Affairs Unit (MOFA), Bangladesh; Atsushi Sunami, President — Ocean Policy Research Institute (Sasakawa Peach Foundation); Prof Gunter Paul, Author of ‘Blue Economy; and Mustafa al Hinai, CEO of Oman Aviation Group.
In all, 86 speakers hailing from more than 30 countries will hold forth on topics relevant to five ocean themes.