ISFU Reviews Major Initiatives, Projects to Enhance Economic Diversification

Muscat, The Implementation Support and

Follow-up Unit (ISFU) today organized a meeting with government

agencies concerned with government programs and plans to promote

economic diversification in the Sultanate. The Unit reviewed more than

100 initiatives and projects in the sectors of logistics, manufacturing,

tourism, fisheries, mining, energy, business environment, business

market and employment.

The meeting started with a visual presentation by Mu’atasim bin

Sultan al-Sharji, Deputy Head of the Corporate Planning Team at the

ISFU. He said that the Unit is based on support, follow-up, cooperation

and integration to provide a stimulating business environment and an

effective partnership. He pointed out that the Unit’s work relies on

working methodology based on economic development by focusing on

sectors with national economic priorities.

Eng. Nabil al-Bimani, Head of Ports and Free Zones Sector at

the Oman Global Logistics Group (ASYAD) said that the major

achievements made by the logistics sector through the initiatives and

projects that emerged through the laboratories of the logistics sector

represented in the completion of the development of national e-

commerce strategy, the promotion of the cooling chain in the fisheries

sector with 41 refrigerated trucks, the rehabilitation of some fish

markets, most notably Wadi Bani Khalid Market and completion of the

strategy on the shipping village at Muscat International Airport, as well

as launching Oman Logistics Association and the completion of the

initial design of the road (Wadi Saa – Hafeet � Ibri).

Eng. Sami bin Salem al-Saheb, Director General of Industry at

the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said that the GDP at current

prices rose by 10.2 percent at the end of 2017 to hit about RO 20,336

million. He pointed out that the contribution of the manufacturing sector

in the GDP stood at 10.2 percent in 2017.

Al-Saheb pointed out that the outputs of the manufacturing

sector lab affirmed the need to increase the GDP in the industrial

sector to RO 3.46 billion by 2020, generating foreign direct investment

and direct domestic investment to reach above RO 7 billion by 2020

and providing about 8414 jobs for citizens.

The business environment sector reviewed a range of initiatives

and projects. Mohammed bin Said al-Abri, Deputy Executive President

of the Capital Market Authority (CMA) addressed the initiative of the

Authority on the real estate investment funds project, which is one of

the Tanfeedh initiatives for the business environment.

After that, Adel bin Khalifa al-Sa’adi from the Central Bank of

Oman (CBO) presented a presentation on the establishment of a

national credit and financial information center. He gave a briefing on

the system, its importance and objectives, as well as the initiative to

establish the center under the name “Oman Credit and Financial

Information Center”.

Mubarak bin Mohammed al-Dohani, Director-General of Commerce

at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry presented a presentation on

“Invest Easy” project. He highlighted the importance of the project, the

results achieved during the past period, the project’s sponsors and the

development plans.

In the labour market and employment sector, Dr. Amal bint Obaid

al-Mughaineyeh, Director-General of Vocational Standards and

Curriculum Development at the Ministry of Manpower, said that

proposals were developed and solutions were given for the challenges

of the sector that have been highlighted in the Labour Market and

Employment Lab represented in the challenges in the structural

system of private sector’s establishments, the challenges related to

working conditions and employment in the private enterprises and

challenges related to the community, as well as challenges related to

labour values and challenges related to the non-Omani workforce.

Eng. Mohammed bin Mahmoud al-Zedjali, Director of Investor

Services and Quality Management at the Ministry of Tourism, presented

in his presentation a set of themes focusing on the objectives of Oman

Tourism Strategy 2040, the initial layouts within the strategy and the

tourism sector’s initiatives supervised by the ISFU.

He added that the objectives of the strategy represented in

increasing the number of jobs by more than half a million jobs,

maximizing the volume of investments to RO 19 billion, increasing the

contribution of the tourism sector in the GDP from 6 percent to 10

percent and the development of the local economy, as well as the

development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Eng. Ya’aqoub bin Khalfan al-Busaidi, Director General of

Fisheries Marketing and Investment at the Ministry of Agriculture and

Fisheries said that the productive components of the fisheries sector

consist of 47,000 fishermen, 23,000 boats and more than 700 ships in

2017. The number of fish markets reached 60 markets, 650 fish outlets

and 38 factories obtaining quality control number, 4,000 fish trucks and

24 fishing ports.

Al-Busaidi pointed out that fish production in the Sultanate is

steadily increasing in quantity and value since 2011 until 2017. The

total fish production amounted to 348,000 tons with value of RO 227

million in 2017.

He added that the future trend of the sector seeks to increase the

contribution of fisheries sector to the GDP from RO 225 million in 2016

to RO 781 million by 2023, as well as attracting private investments to

finance the sector’s projects for more than 80 percent, increasing the

total caught fisheries to 1.3 million metric tons by 2023 and providing

about 8,000 new jobs in the sector.

Dr. Salim bin Ali al-Mahrouqi, Director General of Mining

Investments Affairs at the Public Authority for Mining (PAM) said that

the mining sector currently produces more than 100 million tons of raw

materials and contributes about RO 120 million to the GDP. He added

that the number of mining licenses reached 472.

He pointed out that the total number of copper projects approved

during the mining labs stood at 7 with an investment volume of RO

290.5 million. This will contribute to the GDP by 2023 to RO 109 million

and provide 282 jobs for citizens.

As for the general plan of the major alternative energy projects,

Ibrahim bin Mohammed al-Harthy, Director of Technical Organization at

the Electricity Regulatory Authority, said that in 2019, the commercial

operation of Dhofar project for wind power will be commenced,

commercial operation of Amin solar energy project in 2020 and

commercial operation of Manah solar power project in 2022. In 2023,

commercial operation will begin in Adam solar power project and

energy from waste production project, in addition to wind power

projects in Duqm, Sur and Ja’alan Bani Bu Ali.

Adnan bin Jama’an Bait Rajab, Adviser at the Directorate General

for Oil and Gas Exploration and Production said that among the major

projects of the outputs of energy lab represented in the natural gas

management through exploration and development of new fields and

development of extraction from the existing fields, as well as finding

sources other than gas and reducing the burning of gas. He pointed

out that the priorities of gas distribution represented in electricity and

water needs, current and signed contracts, oil extraction, new projects

and expansions in the existing projects.

Eng. Nayef bin Ali al-Abri, Director General of Projects

Development at Oman Power and Water Procurement Company, said

that one of the most important achievements is Ibri solar energy

project, which is one of the outputs of energy labs. The project site was

approved in the Wilayat of Ibri. The project will contribute to the

reduction of carbon emissions by 340,000 tons per year. The capacity

of the project stands at 500 megawatts, which is equivalent to

supplying 33,000 homes of power. The commercial operation of the

project will start in 2021.

The meeting which was held at Al Wahat club was attended by Dr. Khamis bin Saif al-Jabri, ISFU

Chairman, officials and those concerned at these sectors.

Source: Oman News Agency