DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Oman 2019 | DIPLOMACY | INSIDE PERSPECTIVE

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said continues to guide Oman to a sustainable future, with the upcoming Vision 2040 expected to form the basis of his future development plans.

Upon completion, Oman's ninth Five-Year

Development Plan will coincide with the close of Vision 2020 and will pave the way for the implementation of the upcoming Vision 2040. Already, it has coincided with several important regional and global changes. At the forefront of these changes were sharp fluctuations in global oil prices, instability in the region, and the emergence of a wave of recessions in the global economy across both advanced and emerging economies.

The recurrence of Oman's planning efforts, which span five decades, demonstrates the continuity in planning and development efforts in a framework of economic and social stability that the Sultanate enjoys under the prudent leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. The regional and global challenges present have necessitated that this plan builds on the stability achieved in previous plans to grow the non-oil economic sectors, establish projects with an emphasis on job creation, foster sources of non-oil fiscal revenues for the state, and enhance the role of the private sector in the national economy.

The plan's success depends on four transformations in the operation of the economy. First, the shift in the structure of the Omani economy from one depending primarily on hydrocarbons to a diversified economy by broadening the production base to include promising sectors in which the Sultanate has a clear comparative advantage. Second, a shift in growth drivers by empowering domestic and foreign investment to take a leading role in promoting PPPs and development by the government of a supportive climate for the growth of an economy that is capable of competition. Third, a shift in the management of public finance is needed to be more effective in rationalizing expenditure and increasing non-oil revenues. Fourth, a shift in the labor market structure is outlined by the plan to better prepare and qualify Omani citizens, particularly young people, to undertake a prime role in shifting from public service work to self-employment and productive work.

The ninth Five-Year Development Plan also holds special importance as it is the final five-year plan within Vision 2020 and paves the way for the implementation of Vision 2040, which is currently undergoing formulation. In future development plans, economic development will be realized through a continuously diversifying economy, the empowerment of the private sector, the balanced development of the governorates, the preservation of environmental sustainability, the establishment of modern infrastructure, and an integrated physical system. Key to maintaining this strategic direction and the emphasis on youth set by the ninth Five-Year Development plan is the need to develop dynamic leaders with renewed competencies who can function in an integrated institutional and economic framework.

The process of formulating Vision 2040 is based on a number of basic premises: the Sultanate's national priorities, the report of the main guidelines for the formulation of the future vision, the National Programme for the Promotion of Economic diversification and Implementation (Tanfeedh), the output of the Vision 2040 committees and task forces, strategic studies and reports, lessons, achievements of Vision 2020, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, sectoral strategies, the national strategy for Urban Development, the ninth Five-Year Development Plan, and international reports and indicators. ✖