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National Programme to Attract Private Investments launched

21 Mar 2021 By MOHAMMED TAHA

Qais Mohammed al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, chaired a meeting of National Programme to Attract Private Investments on Sunday. The first meeting of the supervisory committee tasked with this special programme, held at the Diplomatic Institute, had in attendance Dr Khamis Saif al Jabri, head of Oman Vision 2040’s Implementation Follow-up Unit. 

The programme is an accelerator for the first phase of Oman Vision 2040 and focused on economy, development and fiscal sustainability.  

The National Programme to Attract Private Investments to the Sultanate and Support Omani Exports in Foreign Markets was launched on the directives of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik.  

The programme is designed to enhance economic efficiency of governorates, promote special economic zones and free zones as investment incubators, develop capabilities of the labour force, reduce official procedures for investors, and to evaluate performance of government entities.  

‘The aim is to intensify the government’s efforts to attract private investments; to be a catalyst to support the national economy,’ the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion said in a statement. The programme will be implemented in a timeframe of three years between 2021 and 2023. 

Focused on investments for several economic sectors, targets have been set based on the total amount of investment agreed upon between the relevant entities in every sector. Other economic and development sectors will be targeted in the future. It will empower the private sector to steer economic development, which is a core objective of the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2021-2025).  

The programme includes specialised communication strategies in its support for enhanced local and international awareness, and marketing the investment opportunities. 

The programme will see the establishment and development of several economic zones as gateways for economic growth, in addition to development of infrastructure in governorates to attract investments. 

For the labour market, it will aid in qualifying Omani employees ready to enter the national workforce as per the requirements of the country, and encourage critical thinking, creativity and innovation. 

Additionally, the programme will support in developing legislation and systems to suit investors’ needs, and setting criteria for the selection of projects and methodology for their follow up, application of quality standards in implementing government projects and facilitating government services.  

The launch of the programme evoked reactions from citizens in social media. Ammar, a citizen, tweeted, “The programme will have a very big role in stimulating and accelerating business, and solving the problems of jobseekers. It’s the best news I have heard. Thank you, Your Majesty.” 

In a tweet, Mohammed al Balushi said, “The decision is very important due to the strong competition between the countries of the region during this period. We hope it brings all the investments possible and facilitates completion of procedures for investors.”  

According to Khalid Ambusaidi’s tweet, foreign investors must be supported with appropriate legal frameworks and speedy approvals. “Domestic products need financial support, loan facilitation, tax relief, strong infrastructure and integrated internal services for export.” 

Another twitterati Hamoud al Toqi said, “The decision is very important to stimulate the economy. The private sector must cooperate with the government sector for its success.” 

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