Oman to celebrate anniversary of HM the Sultan’s Accession to power on 11 January

Oman Tuesday 10/January/2023 10:00 AM
Oman to celebrate anniversary of HM the Sultan’s Accession to power on 11 January

Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman will mark the anniversary of His Majesty the Sultan’s Accession Day on 11 January.

His Majesty the Sultan’s fervent determination, coupled with Omani people’s support to the leader of Renewed Renaissance, played a positive role in overcoming the challenges and revitalising the march of nation building.

This was affirmed by His Majesty the Sultan when he delivered the Royal speech in 2022 in which he said, “We are confident that you all perceive the volume of challenges that we have been through, that we have tackled with tact and patience and then, with the Almighty’s divine support, proceeded with the implementation of our social and economic plans and programmes, inspired by Oman Vision 2040. As a result, our economic and fiscal performance has improved.”

The financial and economic indicators achieved by the Sultanate of Oman in 2022 confirmed the improvement of the gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices to OMR44.9 billion by the end of 2022, posting a growth rate of 32.4 percent as against 2021 figures.

Accordingly, Oman achieved fiscal surplus of about OMR1.146 billion, compared to an approved deficit of about OMR1.550 billion, according to indicators of preliminary results of the State’s General Budget 2022.

In 2022, the social and economic aspects received commensurate attention that reflected in a rise by about OMR958 million in net public spending.

This included setting a cap on fuel prices, an increase in allocations for Oman Housing Bank’s loans, augmenting the spending for subsidizing expenditures of electricity sector, the waste sector and food commodities.

This is in addition to offering further support for “social security and limited income families”, raising allowances for students on scholarship abroad by 25 percent and exempting entrepreneurs who hold Riyada card from additional emergency loans, as well as borrowers from Oman Development Bank’s emergency loan portfolio.

The government of His Majesty the Sultan was able to pay off part of its public debt and manage the loan portfolio by the end of 2022. This contributed to diminishing the total volume of public debt from OMR20.8 billion by the end of 2021 to OMR17.7 billion in 2022.

The persistent implementation of procedures on controlling financial conditions led to upgrading the Sultanate of Oman’s credit rating, while at the same time improving Oman’s future outlook among international credit rating agencies during 2022.

His Majesty the Sultan accorded a great attention to the execution of accelerated national programmes for the realization of national targets of Oman Vision 2040. The aim is to find sustainable solutions for the financial and economic aspects and employment, which was represented in the National Programme for Financial Sustainability and the Development of the Financial Sector, the National Programme for Economic Diversification, the Government Digital Transformation Programme, the National Programme for Investment and Export Development, and the National Employment Programme (NEP).

The Sultanate of Oman, through its 2023 Budget, has introduced projects with a developmental impact, for which about OMR200 million have been allocated, in addition to supporting the social protection system with about OMR384 million, according to Royal Decree No. (33/2021) to achieve integrated social protection directed to the neediest groups. This is in addition to boosting efficient investments, ensuring financial sustainability, and improving work environment by rounding up retirement benefits.

The vision of His Majesty the Sultan to establish a modern approach of decentralized local administration in governorates of Oman brought about a Royal dimension manifested in "determining developmental, economic and social priorities, benefiting from the comparative advantage among them and streamlining service procedures for citizens".

The development of the governorates is one of the major priorities of the 10th Five Year Plan, which aims at achieving balanced economic and social development, considering the spatial dimension of development and the sectoral dimension of the different economic sectors.

Thanks to His Majesty the Sultan’s attention, a sum of OMR20 million has been accorded for each governorate during the 10th Five Year Plan to provide support to the governorates’ developmental projects. The sum will be expended through the Budget’s Electronic System.

Total financial allocations set for these projects for the year 2023 amount to OMR1.2 billion, reviewed from time to time, depending on the financial and economic developments in the country.

In the field of competitiveness, Oman has made progress in several sub-indicators, such as the Innovation Index, as a result of the improvement of scientific research and innovation system in Oman and the initiatives pertaining to motivating and developing researchers.

Oman also achieved improvement in indicators related to information technology. As a result, the Sultanate of Oman ranked 15th globally and scaled up its ranking in the pillar of education to find its place among the top 10 countries in the world. This is in addition to its remarkable progress in other international indicators, such as food security, food quality and safety, food availability, sustainability, resilience, and others.

His Majesty the Sultan strengthened Oman's foreign policy by maximising mutual interests with various countries of the world, benefiting Oman and its esteemed people. Economic diplomacy played an important role in attracting investments in various fields, thanks to the stimulating legislative environment that Oman possesses, free economic zones, natural and environmental resources, supportive infrastructure and logistics and a prominent geographical location.

Economic diplomacy also sought to enhance tourism in Oman and benefit from the yearlong diverse environments, stunning beaches, attractions, heritage sites, museums, modern tourism and luxurious hotel facilities. Tourism in Oman also benefits from the experiences of various countries of the world in the fields of scholarly research, innovation, technology and renewable energy.

Statistics indicate the advantages of what has been achieved so far in the volume of foreign direct investments (FDI), which stood at about OMR18.14 billion until the third quarter of 2022, posting an increase of 10.4 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2021.

These efforts also contributed to upgrading the volume of trade exchange between Oman and the countries of the world to stand at OMR30,421.4 million until September 2022, a rise of 46.18 percent.