Oman asks public, private sector CEOs to help forge new five-year plan

The sultanate is seeking to diversify away from oil after posting a sizeable budget deficit in the first half



Oman has invited 200 chief executives and chairman of private and public sector companies to help forge its new five-year plan to reduce the country’s dependence on oil.

Times of Oman reports that the business people have been asked to identify, report and help resolve issues including bureaucracy, red tape and skills shortages under a new labs scheme covering five sectors.

The plan is modelled on a similar scheme in Malaysia that sought to reduce delays in new projects and is being conducted in collaboration with the Malaysian Government’s Management and Delivery Unit, according to the publication.

Oman’s National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification is targeting manufacturing, tourism, transport and logistics, mining and fisheries under the 2016 to 2020 plan and will welcome 78 CEOs and representatives in the second phase starting today.

“These five sectors will provide new job opportunities to Omanis and increase the private sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” Talal Sulaiman Al Rahbi, deputy secretary-general of the Supreme Council for Planning told Times of Oman.

The second phase will continue until October 26 to outline the priorities of the scheme, which aims to exceed the 25 per cent increase in Oman’s non-oil GDP under the previous 2010-2015 five-year plan focusing on roads, ports and airports.

In the first six weeks, the new programme will consist of a lab phase designed to determine challenges in the five sectors and how to overcome them with participation from ministry, government institution and government-owned company representatives.

An executive phase will follow in January 2018 and the first annual report on the new plan is expected in April 2018.

The diversification plan comes as the country tackles a sizeable budget deficit linked to low oil prices.

Read: Oman budget deficit widens in H1 as low oil prices hit revenues

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