Our vision is for Oman to be a ‘developed country’

Point of View –
Dr Yousuf Hamed al Balushi –
Oman Vision 2040: Moving Forward with Confidence (Part 2)

Dr Yousuf Hamed al Balushi

At first, let’s agree that success and transformation are not accidents. We have to do it with purpose.
Our Vision is for Oman to be one of the World’s Developed Countries. It is a deep statement and covers all aspects socially, economically, environmentally and politically.
Among the key issues addressed in Vision 2040 are the ecosystem of development, business and economic cycle. Fixing the Business Cycle which is runs in one direction parallel with hydrocarbon sales which leaves Oman vulnerable to price shocks and importing the majority of goods and services. To achieve this, focus will be on enhancing, supporting, and strengthening production of goods and services, export-oriented policies, foreign direct investment (FDI). It will target increased backward and forwards linkages within the economy. The aim is to restructure the national economy to strengthen the connections between sectors through economic diversification, increasing non-oil exports and decreasing import numbers. It looks at supporting national production, encouraging private sector to expand the production base, increase local export rates and attract foreign investments.
These are some factors to rebalance the business cycle in Oman.
In addition, it aims to intensify the use of different financial, monetary, social, trade and other forms of policies to work towards desired goals in state business and society relationship to improve the business cycle.
Vision 2040 addresses the business environment by promoting deregulation and more efficient government processes with considerably less red tape/ bureaucracy. Another goal is to provide highly qualified Omani personnel. We are working on the most fruitful soil to be attractive for FDIs to benefit from Oman’s state-of-the-art infrastructure, ports with easy access to the ocean, and operating in the safest country to settle.
Oman is fully aware that attracting foreign investments requires a competitive business environment and easy procedures. The Sultanate revised the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Law, which aims to regulate and encourage investments and deepening investor’s protection.
To conclude, to achieve Vision 2040 realisation we need a permanent shift in all aspects of development starting from our mindset. We need improvements in all aspects and to touch all our activities, whether in government, business or society. It must impact what we do in our day to day life.
This is necessary, urgent and we have limited space and time to achieve Vision 2040. However, we have plentiful natural, human, infrastructure assets. Our relation with rest of the world is great and our location is unique. However, this long-term prosperity is neither cheap nor will it happen suddenly or naturally. We as Omanis must work it out. Our future lies on our hands. (Dr Yousuf Hamed al Balushi, Economist at Smart Investment Gateway. Email: yousufh@omaninvestgateway.com)