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National policy to cut imports, increase exports on the anvil

26 Feb 2023 By ONA

His Majesty Sultan Haitham presides over Council of Ministers meeting

Muscat – His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik chaired a meeting of the Council of Ministers in Muscat on Sunday.

At the outset of the meeting, His Majesty the Sultan thanked and praised Allah the Almighty for the riches bestowed on Oman, its loyal people and all those residing on its land. Then, His Majesty reviewed local and international developments.

As part of His Majesty’s constant care and follow-up of the educational system – its development and upgradation to meet the goals of Oman Vision 2040, and its aspirations to efficiently groom generations of citizens and prepare them with skills and capabilities in various fields – His Majesty the Sultan gave directives to the Council of Ministers to implement the ‘Vocational and Technical Education System’, which aims to enable students of Grades 11 and 12 to choose educational tracks within a range of professional and technical fields, including engineering and industrial specialisations.

The Council of Ministers approved the plan following a study presented by the Ministry of Education, which included new educational tracks and curricula designed to keep pace with the requirements of sustainable development and future skills. This is in addition to restructuring the educational system so that the Vocational and Technical Education System can be implemented with effect from the next academic year (2023/2024).

After His Majesty the Sultan praised teachers and their active role in the upbringing of generations of Omani citizens, instilling in them values and virtues, the Council of Ministers approved the establishment of Omani Teacher’s Day – February 24 – as an official holiday for all teachers and support staff in public and private schools.

Following the Council’s proposed initiatives and investment projects of the ‘Investment Laboratory in the Sports Sector’, His Majesty issued directives to study related priority projects and to provide the necessary facilities for investors to be partners in sports development.

His Majesty the Sultan underscored the significance of developing the sports sector and upgrading it. He also stressed the need to complete the sports strategy being prepared to raise the efficiency of young people and explore their skills from early educational stages.

As part of its keenness to contribute to the national economy, the Council of Ministers laid emphasis on enhancing the local content of Omani industries, as well as the preparation of a national policy to reduce imports and increase exports. The Council also stressed the allocation of a percentage of development spending for projects that contribute to achieving in-country value (ICV) for the national economy, besides generating employment opportunities for citizens.

His Majesty the Sultan commended the efforts undertaken by the governorates to enhance economic activities through the establishment of various projects, festivals and other events. In this context, he underlined the need for the governorates to demonstrate their potential and to compete with each other to present the best proposal for development projects that can be implemented in one of their respective wilayats, so that those projects can be evaluated in accordance with specific regulations and conditions to be announced later. This will provide funding for the top three winning projects.

Complementing the efforts made by the government to enhance the role of the private sector in developing the national economy, encouraging the establishment of businesses, attracting more investments and increasing competitiveness in government tenders by providing an opportunity for a larger number of companies, the Council of Ministers decided to cut down commercial registration fees for foreign investors and equate them with Omani investors, according to specific regulations to be determined by the authorities concerned.

The Council also approved exempting companies contesting tenders from providing temporary insurance – the bidding guarantee submitted as a condition for a tender.

Then, His Majesty spoke about regional and international affairs and Oman’s bilateral relations with several Arab and friendly countries with the objective of meeting the common interests and aspirations of nations.

At the conclusion of the meeting, His Majesty touched on a number of aspects of concern to the country and the citizens. His Majesty wished all further success towards the realisation of Oman’s progress and prosperity.

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