Muscat: Ensuring Oman’s Vision 2040 provides good standards of living and employment for all is a collective responsibility that must not be shirked, the Deputy Director General of the Sultanate’s Supreme Council of Planning, Talal Al Rahbi, said.
Speaking at the Vision 2040 conference, Al Rahbi said, “We will work hard to take what was discussed into consideration, and implementing the vision is a group responsibility.”
In addition, Qais bin Mohammed Al Yousuf, Chairman of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, “Some of the vision’s catalysts include facilitating the work environment, identifying private and government sectors, regulating work and productivity and making economical decisions quickly.”
A number of internationally renowned speakers were invited to speak on the topic of Vision 2040, a blueprint that will chart out how Oman will address the key issues the country now faces, including job creation for locals, economic expansion and the progression of the Tanfeedh programme for economic diversification to move the country away from traditional fossil-fuel based sources of energy.
“Regardless of industrial revolutions, the Omani individual must be qualified to adapt to all variables, a responsibility that falls on everyone without exception,” explained Michael Khouli, an author, speaker and global thinker who was invited to speak. Dr Fadi Makki, member of the Science Council of the World Economic Forum, added, “Guiding human behaviour must take place in all sectors, and every problem, once dissected, can show us how to direct, improve and strengthen certain behaviours.”
A number of Omani students and representatives from the educational sector in Oman had also been invited to ensure that the academic curricula in schools and universities in Oman met the needs of employers. Representing the Ministry of Higher Education at the conference was Dr Fatima Al Hajri, Graduate Survey Director at the ministry.
“Behavioural stimulation through social media and other platforms is a successful method that aims at adding value to the Sultanate, but does not replace policies,” she said.
Industry representatives had also been invited. Dr Amar Al-Rawas, CEO Tasneea Oil and Gas, said, “What is required today is to move towards flexibility and lightness in managing complexity. Change must not be an entity attached to the institution, which leads to its rejection and resistance. It must be an integral part of the structure of the institution.”
“Our role as leaders is to create an environment that supports fulfilling leadership duties for which each individual is responsible,” revealed Ibtisam Al Riyami, People and Change Director of Petroleum Development Oman.” Saleh Hamood Al Hasani, Investor Services Manager at the Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm, explained, “Expanding in terms of infrastructure in all fields is important and will open opportunities for the future, and the government should continue to support these investment projects according to economic diversification policies.”
A number of representatives who had overseen the transformation of overseas countries had also been invited. One of them was Wong Heang Fine, Group CEO, Surbana Jurong Private Limited, which had helped Singapore make rapid advances in economic advancement.
“What’s more important than the vision itself is the people who work to realise this vision,” he said, while Lim Pei Shan, Head, Centre for Strategic Futures at the Strategy Group of the Prime Minister’s Office of Singapore, added, “For Singapore, we foresee the future by envisioning what we aspire to achieve, and also by asking questions regarding the future and the changes we need to adapt to.”
Sri Ram Viswanathan, Founder, Indus Age Global, said, “Low population density is an asset to Oman, but the question is: how interested are the Omani youth in information technology? Because it is the field that will open doors to the future.”
Vietnam’s industrial advancement was another success story hailed at the conference, in this case by Kishore Mahbubani, Senior Advisor, University & Global Relations, and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore
He said, “A great example of vision realisation is Vietnam, that was able to eradicate poverty and accomplish consecutive achievements in 20 years.”