Dec. 26, 2021


Khamis bin Saif Al Jabri

Oman

Khamis bin Saif Al Jabri

Chairman, Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-Up Unit

BIO

Khamis bin Saif Al Jabri has a PhD in international economy from Durham University, UK. Previously, he spent most of his career in government economic affairs. In 2016, he was appointed head of the Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit (ISFU), which was abolished in 2020, and Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit was established. Al Jabri was then appointed Chairman of the new unit.


What are the substantial differences between setting a vision such as Oman Vision 2040, plans such as the 10th Five-Year Development Plan, and programs such as Tanfeedh?

Oman Vision 2040 was directly supervised and chaired by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq. It was carefully set through identifying the mega trends in economy, sociology, and culture, in order to achieve the society's aspirations and be aligned with local, regional and global changes, in addition to being the main reference for preparing strategic plans and national implementation programs. On the other hand, the plans and projects of the 10th Five-Year Development Plan are derived from the vision's requirements regarding the economy and society, and the challenges caused by the global economic crisis and Covid-19 pandemic in finance and investment as urgent priorities. Tanfeedh, however, is an operational program in which special focus on delivery was given. It mainly aimed at linking the strategies of the vital economic sectors to diversify the national income resources and fulfill the objectives of the 9th Five Year Development Plan.

How does Oman formulate broad sweeping plans like Oman Vision 2040 in a way that global economic forces, like the recent Covid-19 pandemic or the decline in oil prices, do not affect their objectives or outcomes?

One of the main reasons why Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit was established is to ensure that we will always have short term to long term impact evaluation of plans and projects the country is initiating and to continuously have clear national prioritization based on challenges Oman is facing. For example, to deal with the global economic changes, we need to be dynamically adaptive and develop a resilient, diversified and competitive economy. The first thing done in line with Oman Vision 2040 launch was launching two national programs to help overcoming the current economic and fiscal challenges, “The Program of Attracting Private Investments and Enhancing the Presence of Omani Exports in Foreign Markets (Invest in Oman)” and “The National Program for Financial Sustainability”.

Looking forward, what challenges do you foresee in achieving the objectives of Oman Vision 2040?

The current economic and fiscal challenges the country is facing are still the main challenges that might slow down the progress towards achieving Oman Vision 2040, as it requires a continuously healthy and growing economy in order to be achieved, which is the main reason why Oman started its vision implementation with the above-mentioned national programs. Moreover, there are other challenges such as the slow progress of government digital transformation. This is why we have a vision enabling program for digital transformation, receiving the highest level of interest and support from His Majesty, to ensure it is accelerated and delivered effectively, starting with public services, especially the ones related to improving business environment. Also, the Unit has adopted a robust methodology to continuously scout for signals for internal or external changes expected to impact Oman, and pro-actively develop a mechanism to mitigate the risks, manage challenges, accelerate and maximize the value of upcoming opportunities. In addition, Oman Vision 2040 has been prepared to be flexible with updateable KPIs that keep pace with the local, regional and global changes.

Why is Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit currently focusing on economy and development pillar?

Since 2014, the Omani economy have been facing big challenges just like the global economy. Oil prices declined in global markets, global economy achieved a very slow growth rate, and Covid-19 pandemic had huge impacts on the economy. These challenges directly affected the financial situation of the Sultanate, which caused high public debt and persistent budget deficit. This encouraged the government to amend the fiscal balance procedures as a necessary step to achieve financial sustainability, in addition to adopting an incentive package including the economic stimulus program, along with the economic diversification program. Since 2014, the Omani economy have been facing big challenges just like the global economy. Oil prices declined in global markets, global economy achieved a very slow growth rate, and Covid-19 pandemic had huge impacts on the economy. These challenges directly affected the financial situation of the Sultanate, which caused high public debt and persistent budget deficit. This encouraged the government to amend the fiscal balance procedures as a necessary step to achieve financial sustainability, in addition to adopting an incentive package including the economic stimulus program, along with the economic diversification program.