H.E. Talal bin Sulaiman Al Rahbi, Deputy Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Planning, said that 70% of the goals of the future vision (Oman 2020), that guides the Sultanate towards a sustainable and diversified economy, have been achieved despite some challenges. He said that a huge project is being prepared, the tenth five-year plan, the first operational plan for Vision 2040, pointing out that Sultan Qaboos University and its students will be partners in the preparation of this plan.
H.E. Al Rahbi disclosed these facts during a panel discussion entitled “Development Planning and the future of Omani Economy” held at SQU on Wednesday, 16 October 2019. Commenting on the role of private sector in national development, he said that the percentage of Omani employees in the private sector is about 15% and the contribution of private sector to economic development is still weak. “The government continues as the largest employer in the country and jobseekers still prefer employment opportunities in government departments and organizations. Increasing the Omanisation rate in the private sector is a major challenge and the attempt to address it continues even in Vision 2040. A lot of effort is needed to make the private sector jobs more attractive for the young generation so that more Omanis can fill the jobs available in this sector”, he said.
H.E. Al Rahbi called upon the audience review general budget of the State, which represents the annual projects and plans. At the end of the session, he said that a giant project is being worked on which is the urban strategy, that includes development strategy for each province. “At the moment we are working on Muscat Governorate in terms of options for expansion and economic growth. We hope that these strategies will be finalized by end of next year. Thereafter, specific strategic plan for each region will be taken up”, he said.
The panel discussion was organized within the framework of cooperation between Sultan Qaboos University and the Supreme Council for Planning. Such collaborative events are aimed at strengthening the university’s relationship with various state institutions and to promote students’ knowledge and awareness on the future of the national economy, as well as inculcating the culture of constructive dialogue in students and positive interaction with officials.