Muscat: The GDP at current prices rose by 10.2 per cent at the end of 2017 to hit about OMR20,336 million, said Eng. Sami bin Salem Al Saheb, Director General of Industry at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
He pointed out that the contribution of the manufacturing sector in the GDP stood at 10.2 percent in 2017.
Al Saheb pointed out that the outputs of the manufacturing sector lab affirmed the need to increase the GDP in the industrial sector to OMR3.46 billion by 2020, generating foreign direct investment and direct domestic investment to reach above OMR7 billion by 2020 and providing about 8,414 jobs for citizens.
The business environment sector reviewed a range of initiatives and projects.
The Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit (ISFU) yesterday organised a meeting with government agencies concerned with government programmes and plans to promote economic diversification in the Sultanate.
The Unit reviewed more than 100 initiatives and projects in the sectors of logistics, manufacturing, tourism, fisheries, mining, energy, business environment, business market and employment.
The meeting started with a visual presentation by Mu’atasim bin Sultan Al Sharji, Deputy Head of the Corporate Planning Team at the ISFU.
He said that the Unit is based on support, follow-up, cooperation and integration to provide a stimulating business environment and an effective partnership.
He pointed out that the Unit’s work relies on working methodology based on economic development by focusing on sectors with national economic priorities.
Eng. Nabil Al Bimani, Head of Ports and Free Zones Sector at the Oman Global Logistics Group (ASYAD) said that the major achievements made by the logistics sector through the initiatives and projects that emerged through the laboratories of the logistics sector represented in the completion of the development of national e- commerce strategy, the promotion of the cooling chain in the fisheries sector with 41 refrigerated trucks, the rehabilitation of some fish markets, most notably Wadi Bani Khalid Market and completion of the strategy on the shipping village at Muscat International Airport, as well as launching Oman Logistics Association and the completion of the initial design of the road (Wadi Saa - Hafeet – Ibri).
Mohammed bin Said Al Abri, Deputy Executive President of the Capital Market Authority (CMA) addressed the initiative of the Authority on the real estate investment funds project, which is one of the Tanfeedh initiatives for the business environment.
After that, Adel bin Khalifa Al Sa’adi from the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) presented a presentation on the establishment of a national credit and financial information centre.
He gave a briefing on the system, its importance and objectives, as well as the initiative to establish the center under the name “Oman Credit and Financial Information Centre”.Mubarak bin Mohammed Al Dohani, Director-General of Commerce at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry presented a presentation on Invest Easy project
He highlighted the importance of the project, the results achieved during the past period, the project’s sponsors and the development plans.
In the labour market and employment sector, Dr. Amal bint Obaid Al Mughaineyeh, Director-General of Vocational Standards and Curriculum Development at the Ministry of Manpower, said that proposals were developed and solutions were given for the challenges of the sector that have been highlighted in the Labour Market and Employment Lab represented in the challenges in the structural system of private sector’s establishments, the challenges related to working conditions and employment in the private enterprises and challenges related to the community, as well as challenges related to labour values and challenges related to the non-Omani workforce.
Eng. Mohammed bin Mahmoud Al Zedjali, Director of Investor Services and Quality Management at the Ministry of Tourism, presented in his presentation a set of themes focusing on the objectives of Oman Tourism Strategy 2040, the initial layouts within the strategy and the tourism sector’s initiatives supervised by the ISFU.
He added that the objectives of the strategy represented in increasing the number of jobs by more than half a million jobs, maximising the volume of investments to OMR19 billion, increasing the contribution of the tourism sector in the GDP from 6 per cent to 10 per cent and the development of the local economy, as well as the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Eng. Ya’aqoub bin Khalfan Al Busaidi, Director General of Fisheries Marketing and Investment at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries said that the productive components of the fisheries sector consist of 47,000 fishermen, 23,000 boats and more than 700 ships in 2017.
The number of fish markets reached 60 markets, 650 fish outlets and 38 factories obtaining quality control number, 4,000 fish trucks and 24 fishing ports.
Al Busaidi pointed out that fish production in the Sultanate is steadily increasing in quantity and value since 2011 until 2017.
The total fish production amounted to 348,000 tonnes with value of OMR227 million in 2017.
He added that the future trend of the sector seeks to increase the contribution of fisheries sector to the GDP from OMR225 million in 2016 to OMR781 million by 2023, as well as attracting private investments to finance the sector’s projects for more than 80 per cent, increasing the total caught fisheries to 1.3 million metric tonnes by 2023 and providing about 8,000 new jobs in the sector.
Dr. Salim bin Ali Al Mahrouqi, Director General of Mining Investments Affairs at the Public Authority for Mining (PAM) said that the mining sector currently produces more than 100 million tonnes of raw materials and contributes about OMR120 million to the GDP.
He added that the number of mining licenses reached 472.
He pointed out that the total number of copper projects approved during the mining labs stood at 7 with an investment volume of OMR290.5 million.
This will contribute to the GDP by 2023 to OMR109 million and provide 282 jobs for citizens.
As for the general plan of the major alternative energy projects,
Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al Harthy, Director of Technical Organization at the Electricity Regulatory Authority, said that in 2019, the commercial operation of Dhofar project for wind power will be commenced, commercial operation of Amin solar energy project in 2020 and commercial operation of Manah solar power project in 2022.
In 2023, commercial operation will begin in Adam solar power project and energy from waste production project, in addition to wind power projects in Duqm, Sur and Ja’alan Bani Bu Ali.
Adnan bin Jama’an Bait Rajab, Adviser at the Directorate General for Oil and Gas Exploration and Production said that among the major projects of the outputs of energy lab represented in the natural gas management through exploration and development of new fields and development of extraction from the existing fields, as well as finding sources other than gas and reducing the burning of gas.
He pointed out that the priorities of gas distribution represented in electricity and water needs, current and signed contracts, oil extraction, new projects and expansions in the existing projects.
Eng. Nayef bin Ali Al Abri, Director General of Projects Development at Oman Power and Water Procurement Company, said that one of the most important achievements is Ibri solar energy project, which is one of the outputs of energy labs.
The project site was approved in the Wilayat of Ibri.
The project will contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions by 340,000 tons per year.
The capacity of the project stands at 500 megawatts, which is equivalent to supplying 33,000 homes of power.
The commercial operation of the project will start in 2021. The meeting was attended by Dr. Khamis bin Saif Al Jabri, ISFU Chairman, officials and those concerned at these sectors.