MUSCAT: The 52nd National Day of the Sultanate of Oman falls on Friday, the 18th of November 2022. His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik’s vision for the future of this benign land reflected positively on the integration of government departments with private sector establishments and civil society institutions. This has in turn brought about tangible results in different social, economic and political fields.
The attention that His Majesty the Sultan accords to the study of decision-making mechanisms is aimed at serving the country’s supreme interests. The outcome was a set of decisions, the most prominent is the restructuring of the Council of Ministers of Supreme Judicial Council to improve government performance towards the realization of Oman Vision 2040.
The role of the governorates constituted a major step in achieving the modern approach to decentralize the local administration. The new administrative setup offers governors and governorates direct authority to run their internal affairs, including planning and implementation of missions. This makes governorates’ affairs more closely associated with the districts themselves, their governors and their municipal councils. New election of municipal councils is due to be held on 25th December 2022. The tasks of municipal councils are to keep pace with the Royal vision and the role that the councils are expected to undertake.
This interaction gains more impetus after the Governorates Development Programme’s allocations were increased to RO 20 million, the addition of new development projects to previous projects endorsed for implementation during the rest of the 10th Five Year Plan (2021-2025) whose worth exceeding RO 650 million in different sectors. The Royal vision will spur economic growth and contribute to the continuity of services and the completion of infrastructure. It will also boost private sector activities and provide more employment opportunities for citizens.
Also Oman implemented the “System of Individual Performance and Institutional Proficiency”(Ejada) aims at generating a quantum leap in government performance by enhancing the efficiency of human resources and improving the level of government services.
The Government Digital Transformation Programme is an executive arm of a digital economy and a basic enabler in achieving the priorities of Oman Vision 2040. Indicators for measuring the performance of the programme include raising the percentage of automation of government services from 34% in 2020 to 80% by 2050.
The Sultanate of Oman has attached a great importance on protecting the environment and preserving its various natural resources. His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik endorsed the year 2050 as a date for achieving zero carbon emissions.
The presence of Omani women in all fields and their impressive contribution to Oman’s comprehensive development constitutes a direct outcome of the attention and care that women have received.
His Majesty the Sultan is following up on efforts made by the government to care for young people and highlight their contributions.
His Majesty the Sultan affirmed the need to adhere to the principles and values of society and to be proud of their identity, “the core component of our personality”.
His Majesty the Sultan also underscored the role of education and vocational training sector in supplying the labour market with skilled national human resources. The innovation system in Oman functions through the integration of a number of entities. The system works towards converting acquired knowledge into innovative applications that can be turned into commercial projects and registered as property rights.
As a result of these efforts, Oman occupied 10th place globally in the education segment of the Global Innovation Index 2022. The ranking advanced Oman by 34 places over last year. Oman also ranked 19th in the Business Policies Index.
Oman presses ahead with the approach charted by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to implement economic measures and streamline procedures. On top of these measures was the medium-term Fiscal Balance Plan (2020-2023), which proved practical through the results it achieved, supported by the 10th Five Year Plan (2021-2025) in line with Oman Vision 2040. This approach was emphasized by His Majesty the Sultan who expressed his satisfaction with the positive change in the course of the state’s financial performance and Oman’s ability to meet its financial obligations.
During this year, the Sultanate of Oman has paid off loans and replaced some high-cost bonds with low-cost ones valued at more than RO 4 billion. It also cut down the size of the public debt by about RO 2.4 billion to stand at RO 18.4 billion. The ratio of public debt to the GDP decreased to 46.5%. The increase in added value in oil and non-oil activities at the end of the second quarter of 2022 contributed to the growth of the GDP value at current prices by 30.4%.
His Majesty’s directives last March, to keep pace with global transformations in the field of green hydrogen and allocate appropriate sites for its production to lend support to low-cost clean energy solutions, Ibri Solar Energy Project opened in January 2022 as the first solar power plant to be connected to the main electricity grid.
Fitch agency’s raising Oman’s credit rating and Moody’s amending the country’s future outlook from “stable” to “positive” enhances the confidence of investors in the stability of Oman’s investment climate.
The foundations upon which Omani foreign policy is based notably good neighborliness, respect for the sovereignty of states, non-interference in internal affairs, positive cooperation, mutual interests, justice, dialogue, humanity and support for international peace and security have made the Sultanate of Oman a reliable international partner at the local and global levels.
At the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Oman reiterated that its solid political approach is based on a deep and stable vision and a vast experience derived from its heritage and human history. Oman also affirmed that the pillars of its foreign policy are standing on solid grounds of truth and justice, boosted by positive cooperation and ties of friendship with all with the prime aim of contributing to the consolidation of international peace and security.
The vision of His Majesty the Sultan is based on Oman’s maintaining positive cooperation with all in various spheres and in a manner that promotes mutual interests. The results of the vision were manifest in His Majesty’s visits to a number of countries. The visits culminated in signing of partnerships and memorandum of understanding, as well as executive programmes in investment, trade and other areas.
Oman also promoted the principle of humanity in its foreign policy and played an active role in serving contemporary issues regionally and internationally. Oman took keen interest in reiterating the call upon the international community to exert more efforts and to establish means of effective dialogue to stop human rights violations, whatever are the motives and causes. Oman also stressed the need to establish stability and prosperity for all nations and peoples on the basis of justice and equality.
In this context, the Sultanate of Oman believes that the realization of a fair and comprehensive peace in the Middle East requires the establishment of a Palestinian state on all its lands occupied since 1967. Oman stressed its rejection of all forms of systematic violations, expansionist domination and arbitrary arrests of Palestinians.