Muscat: Our vision is for Oman to be one of the world’s developed countries. However, Oman cannot be a developed country by universal standards without a society of creative individuals proud of both their identity and culture, a leading healthcare system by international standards, a decent and sustainable quality of life for all, and last but not least, inclusive education and lifelong learning.
Becoming a developed country also needs a competitive economy. An empowered private sector will not only drive a competitive economy, but it will also lead to comprehensive geographical development, a dynamic and attractive labour market, a diversified and sustainable economy and dynamic economic leadership. An environment with sustainable elements, flexible and effective ecological systems. Last but not least, we must have a state with responsible institutions.
Let’s agree that success and transformation do not occur by accident. For them to occur, there needs to be a clear plan with purpose. The realisation of Oman’s 2040 Vision can be accomplished through five national transformation programmes:
First: Management or Behavioural Change
The behaviour and skills of manpower have the biggest impact on increasing production and creating the planned shift and progress. Individuals are at the core of this process since a productive community with a production base is comprised of productive individuals. The opposite also applies where consumers make up a community that relies on consumerism, with the inability to create new capital for itself. Successful nations have a culture of values and qualities connected to work ethic, production, savings, rationalisation, responsibility, and more. To become a creative and productive individual, financial inputs are needed in education, health and accommodation. The individual’s community should have the basis and foundation of security, justice, rule of law, corruption combat, accountability, and a high level of responsibility, as well as a clear view of the future, free of any form of ambiguity.
Second: Government Transformation addressing Structure and Efficiency
This programme will address the size and role of then government, as well as ensure a high degree of coordination among state, business and society relationships.
Third: Digital Transformation
Moving towards a digital state, digital business enterprises and a digital society, will enhance transformation in the community as a whole in both the public and private sectors. Through efficient and safe electronic platforms for transactions, labour-oriented practices will decrease and local Omani businesses will embrace a more technological approach, as well as better connect/network/market their businesses.
Fourth: Fiscal Sustainability
This program will be approached by understanding the nature of Oman’s public budget, it’s composition, and the difficulty of a continued yearly expenditure trend. The program aims to achieve balanced financial sustainability in both the mid and long terms through the smart management of budget items. This will ensure a guided expenditure, apply more initiatives to increase non-oil revenues, and as a result, strengthen investors’ trust and Oman’s credit rating.
Fifth: The Business Cycle
This programme aims to fix the business cycle which currently operates in one direction: the selling of hydrocarbon and importing the majority of goods and services. To rebalance the business cycle in Oman, the program will focus on restructuring national economy to strengthen the connections between sectors through economic diversification, increasing non-oil exports and decreasing import numbers. Furthermore, the program will look into supporting national production, encouraging the private sector to expand its production base, increasing local export rates and attracting foreign investments.
[Dr Yousuf Hamed al Balushi is an economist at Smart Investment Gateway; email: