Muscat: People are generally satisfied with Tanfeedh’s initiative to identify and boost sectors that can propel the country’s economic growth,but some expatriates believe there is not much in it for the community.
Tanfeedh organised an event to receive feedback from the public on the results of its six-week labs, held as part of the third phase of its initiative.
“We are very satisfied with the vision of Tanfeedh and how it could help in diversification,” said Rajesh Khimji from Zubair Corporation.
The labs identified 121 initiatives in five sectors that would enable economic diversification and improve government regulations.
He was happy to see that Tanfeedh’s vision would diversify his earnings and promote economic growth without depending on oil revenue, Khimji added.
Craig Beeson, a British expatriate and chief economic officer of Sanctum Consultancy, said that the Tanfeedh initiative has just proved Oman’s ability to plan forward.
“Omani strategy to have 80 per cent private sector funding seems perfect. Their location, infrastructure, and vision seem excellent for the future and I see Oman as one of the fastest growing destinations in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council),” he said.
Abdullah Al Balushi, an Omani national working at Sanctum consultancy, said, “Oman has the best location and ports for logistics. Events like this show Oman’s desire to go forward and diversify. I see this as an excellent initiative by the government.”
However, some remainedsceptical. Uzma, an Indian expatriate jobseeker, who has worked in Oman as an engineer and is looking for work now, said that there was little in the event that addressed issues confronting expatriates.
“The whole programme seemed good but I was disappointed that there was very little to address the issues facing expatriates, who are nearly half the population. There should have been something of statistics of expatriate job seekers and their requirements,” she said.
Another expatriate, Ahmed, a consultant from South Africa, said that this was just another plan and numerous such schemes had never been implemented in the past. “I am not very optimistic about this initiative. There is no implementation. Just ideas are not going to change anything,” he said.
Other visitors said that they had come to learn about the proposed diversification plans and initiatives,and to understand how it would affect their future.
Another expatriate, Nair, said, “I basically came to see the new regulations. We have been hearing so much about it, regarding labour laws and making it simpler to work in Oman.”
Bhanu Priya, senior marketing executive at S&T Interior and Contracting, said,“I represent a company that is into interior contracting and we wanted to know what we can expect out of this in terms of the kind of activities that will happen in the future from the tourism and contracting point of view, as well as labour laws. What kind of issues do we face in Oman? What changes are we to expect in the future? That is all we want to explore here.”