Muscat (UNA/Al Omaniyya) - The Sultanate of Oman celebrates the 53rd glorious National Day tomorrow, Saturday. Many achievements have been achieved in all aspects of life and at various levels, enlightened by a solid vision led by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, who emphasized his lofty endeavor to do everything possible. To achieve the goals and aspirations of Oman Vision 2040.
The royal speech of Sultan Haitham during his royal patronage of the opening of the first annual session of the eighth session of the Council of Oman constituted a new future path that strengthens the existing efforts made by various state institutions.
The Sultanate of Oman considers that the Council and its integration with state institutions is one of the main factors for implementing the directions aimed at achieving achievements that benefit citizens. The Sultan’s reception of the President and members of the Office of the State Council and the President and members of the Office of the Shura Council, separately, last December was an affirmation of the partnership in making a present. The country and its future are a fundamental pillar of national action and in order to enhance this integration in a way that serves its future directions and policies aimed at continuing the comprehensive development process and the necessity of concerted efforts and giving priority to the nation’s best interest to preserve the sustainability of development, gains and achievements.
Last October, the Sultanate of Oman witnessed elections for members of the Shura Council for the tenth term, where citizens cast their votes for the first time using modern technologies through the “Intekhab” application, which was also used in the elections for municipal council members for the third term and was designed according to security and confidentiality standards, and requires the availability of a smartphone equipped with a communication feature. NFC, a valid ID card, and the voter must be registered in the electoral registry. The participation rate reached 07 percent to choose 65 members.
The sublime interest and concern for the advancement of this good land and its honorable people was demonstrated by the many achievements it represented, most notably the issuance of the Social Protection Law, which guarantees the implementation of the vision of the Sultanate of Oman and its policy of adequate and adequate insurance coverage for various segments of society. His Majesty hoped at the same time “that the social protection system, which We launched it comprehensively, targeting all segments of society. “So that everyone can enjoy a decent life.” In addition to its other tasks, the Social Protection Fund supervises a number of programs that will begin work next January, and the eligibility for most of them does not depend on social research, such as cash benefits for the elderly, children, people with disabilities, orphans, widows, family income support, and insurance programs. Social security includes insurance for the elderly, disability, death, work-related injuries, occupational diseases, job security, and maternity, sick, and unusual leaves. This law also achieves well-being for the people of Oman in accordance with what is included in the Basic Law of the State and the goals of Oman Vision 2040 in relation to social aspects.
Since the beginning of its blessed renaissance, the Sultanate of Oman has believed that education is the foundation by which nations and societies fortify their present and future. It provided for it the reasons for which today we can benefit from its goodness and reap its fruits. It did not stop at this point, but rather proceeded to develop it and adopt the latest developments in its tools, branches and methods. The vision of Oman aimed 2040 in the priority of “education, learning, scientific research and national capabilities” from its first axis “human and society” to comprehensive education, sustainable learning, and scientific research that leads to a knowledge society and competitive national capabilities, and the lofty philosophy is based on the fact that educational institutions, research and knowledge centers at all levels are the basis for building Scientific and cognitive, and a document of technical and industrial progress. And to continue the approach calling for empowering this sector, linking education curricula to the requirements of economic growth, and enhancing opportunities for the sons and daughters of Oman, armed with scientific thinking methods, openness to the broad horizons of science and knowledge, and directing their cognitive and mental energies to creativity, innovation and development; To become foundations for real investment and leaders of economic development. The issuance of the School Education Law last May is only one of the proofs of this, as this law affirmed that “the major goal of school education in the Sultanate of Oman is to achieve comprehensive and integrated development of the learner’s personality in its mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical aspects.”
The law also establishes the supremacy and advancement of the teaching profession and the necessity of contributing to preserving and enhancing the status of the teacher and his effective role in raising the generations of this nation, which was emphasized by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq during his presidency of the Council of Ministers meeting last February. The Council of Ministers approved the designation of Omani Teacher Day, which falls on the XNUMXth. From February annually, it is an official holiday for all male and female teachers and related support jobs in public and private schools. The Council of Ministers directed the implementation of the vocational and technical education system to enable students in the eleventh and twelfth grades to choose educational paths within a group of professional and technical fields, including engineering and industrial specializations. It approved new educational paths and curricula prepared to keep pace with the requirements of sustainable development and future skills, and the current academic year witnessed Beginning to implement the vocational and technical education system in a number of schools.
The Sultanate of Oman has placed the development and qualification of national competencies among its priorities and necessities. The Council of Ministers approved strengthening the foreign scholarship program for the years (2023-2027 AD) by creating a program aimed at preparing graduates capable of assuming leadership roles in the economic sectors by providing (150) scholarships in the highest quality specializations of the future and in the best possible manner. International universities over a period of five years, starting this year, at a total cost of (36) million Omani riyals, to enrich the academic educational process.
The King of the country gave the utmost importance to preserving the identity and pride in the Omani culture, and pointed out the challenges facing society and the extent of their unacceptable effects on its moral and cultural system. He stressed the necessity of confronting, studying and following up on it, to enhance society’s ability to confront it and consolidate national identity, authentic values and principles, in addition to caring for the family. Because it is the protective bulwark for our sons and daughters from negative intellectual trends that contradict the principles of our true religion and our authentic values, and conflict with the Omani character that draws from our national history and culture. He also urged families to the importance of supporting their children and raising them well in view of the changes in behavior and concepts that the world is witnessing and the consolidation of their concepts by some, and the exploitation of human rights principles, and other justifications to impose visions, programs and behaviors that are not consistent with the prevailing constants and principles.
Regarding the supreme support for youth, Sultan Haitham directed to begin procedures for establishing an integrated sports city project that attracts hosting tournaments and competitions at the regional and global levels. He also directed to study the priority projects that are reached in investment laboratories in the sports sector and provide the necessary facilities to investors because they are partners in sports development. His Majesty stressed the importance of developing and advancing the sports sector, and finalizing the sports strategy that is being prepared to ensure building and preparing the capabilities of young people and exploring their skills starting from the first school stages.
The Sultanate of Oman has given great importance to recruiting, operating, training and qualifying national cadres and creating a work and business environment, as legislation and laws, including the Labor Law, have contributed to providing a safe environment by defining rights and duties and stabilizing the relationship between production parties.
During his presidency of the Council of Ministers last January, the Sultan directed the concerned authorities to take the necessary measures to create the appropriate environment that helps citizens join all types of work, and the importance of educating young people about the philosophy and culture of work prevailing globally and the necessity of encouraging them to enter the fields of entrepreneurship.
The Sultanate of Oman works to develop national administrative leaders and competencies from the public and private sectors and to prepare and train Omani cadres. In this regard, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, under his royal patronage, opened the Royal Academy of Administration, which enjoys the honorary patronage of the Supreme Leader.
The Sultanate of Oman has prioritized the development of sustainable governorates and cities, one of the priorities of the economic and development axis of Oman Vision 2040, to implement local administration based on decentralization and to support this approach by issuing the governorate system and the municipal councils law to enable the people of the Sultanate of Oman in each governorate to contribute to building the nation.
The King of the country stressed the need for the governorates of the Sultanate of Oman to demonstrate the capabilities they possess, and to compete among themselves to present the best proposal for development projects that can be implemented in one of their states, so that these projects are evaluated according to specific controls and conditions, and the first three winning ones are funded in support of the efforts made by the governorates to enhance their economic activity. This year, projects in the governorates of Dhofar, Musandam and South Al Batinah won.
The Sultanate of Oman also seeks, through the National Urban Development Strategy, to enhance social and economic prosperity, the main driver of development sectors, through its seven main goals that it seeks to achieve, which are flexible cities and communities suitable for living, preserving the Omani identity, responding to climate change, adapting to it and mitigating its effects, and growth and diversity. The economic plan is based on the characteristics of each governorate, the sustainable use of resources, the production of energy and its renewable sources, the efficiency of water and waste management, and the protection and enhancement of the environment by managing and monitoring impacts on environmentally sensitive areas.
The inauguration of Sultan Haitham City under the Royal Patronage was a breakthrough in this important field, as it is a smart model city planned on an area of 14 million and 800 thousand square metres, with sustainable urban planning based on 12 international standards of quality of life and luxury of living, starting with appropriate cost and integrated facilities, all the way to... Modern lifestyle and sustainable systems.
The Sultanate of Oman continues to implement economic plans, financial and investment programs within the framework of the tenth five-year plan (2021-2025), guided by the axes and priorities of Oman Vision 2040, and its results have contributed to enhancing the growth of the gross domestic product, raising financial and economic indicators, improving the credit rating, and achieving some financial surpluses that were directed to economic and social priorities. .
The economy of the Sultanate of Oman witnessed growth in constant prices of 2.1 percent during the first half of the current year, and until the middle of the current year it was able to reduce the public debt to 16 billion and 300 million Omani riyals thanks to rationalizing and raising the efficiency of spending and increasing public revenues as a result of the rise in oil prices and taking financial measures to increase Non-oil revenues, in addition to managing the lending portfolio from repurchasing some sovereign bonds at less than their issuance value, repaying high-cost loans and replacing them with lower loans, and issuing local bonds for trading on the Muscat Stock Exchange at a relatively low cost.
The contribution of the tourism sector to the gross domestic product in the Sultanate of Oman reached one billion and 70 million Omani riyals in 2022, and it is hoped that it will reach 2.75 percent during the next two years, compared to 2.4 percent at the end of last year.
Foreign direct investments recorded an increase by the end of the first quarter of this year by 3 percent, reaching 23 billion and 21 million Omani riyals.
The Sultanate of Oman is focusing on attracting investments for projects in various fields, including renewable energy and green hydrogen, for which land was allocated. Two agreements were concluded last June with an investment value of approximately 10 billion US dollars, to develop two new projects for the production of green hydrogen in the Al Wusta Governorate, where the total expected production will reach 250 kilotons. Metrically, equivalent to 6.5 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity.
The meeting of His Highness Sayyid Yazan bin Haitham Al Said, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, with a number of chairmen of boards of directors and CEOs of international companies during the opening of the first Duqm Economic Forum, which was held in the Duqm Special Economic Zone last October, confirmed the investment opportunities available in the fields of renewable energy and energy. Clean, such as green hydrogen and green ammonia, in line with the directions of the Sultanate of Oman to achieve the goals of zero carbon neutrality by the year 2050 AD, the facilities provided to investors, and the investment climate of the Sultanate of Oman.
The Oman Future Fund, which was launched under royal directives last May, with a capital of two billion Omani riyals, will also work to target the sectors of tourism and industries, manufacturing industries, logistics, food, fisheries, mining, communications and information technology, services and ports, to enhance economic activity and encourage the private sector. To enter into partnerships or finance viable investment projects in these sectors targeted by Oman Vision 2040.
The Sultanate of Oman intends to make the digital economy a priority and a tributary to the national economy. In this regard, Sultan Haitham directed the necessity of preparing a national program to implement and localize artificial intelligence technologies, and to accelerate the preparation of legislation to make these technologies one of the basic enablers and catalysts for these sectors. The National Digital Economy Program works to build and develop a prosperous digital economy in the Sultanate of Oman based on several principles, including creating national industries in the digital economy, enhancing local added value, and creating sustainable and generative opportunities.
The Sultanate of Oman seeks to maximize the benefit of its geographical location through special economic zones and free zones and to benefit from maritime transport corridors to connect markets in the Arabian Gulf countries, Europe, Asia and Africa. It has strengthened this aspect by establishing an economic city in the South Al Batinah Governorate this year called Khazaen Economic City and establishing two free zones in it. It was able to attract local and foreign investments amounting to 300 million Omani Riyals, joining the Sohar Free Zone, the Industrial Zones (Madayn), the Special Economic Zone in Duqm, the Free Zone in Salalah, and the Free Zone in Al Mazyouna, supported by legislation, laws and systems that encourage investment, low taxes, a qualified workforce, advanced infrastructure, and political and economic stability. solid.
This economic movement in the Sultanate of Oman and the subsequent positive results towards improving financial and economic indicators and reducing the state’s public debt made credit rating institutions raise and modify their credit outlook for the Sultanate of Oman, as Standard & Poor’s raised the credit rating for the Sultanate of Oman to “BB+” with a stable future outlook, and raised Fitch agency raised the credit rating of the Sultanate of Oman to “BB+” with a stable outlook last September, and Moody’s raised the credit rating of the Sultanate of Oman to the level of “Ba2” while maintaining the positive outlook.
The Sultanate of Oman has made progress in several global indicators, including ranking 56th in the world and fifth in the Arab world in the Industrial Competitive Performance Report for the current year, issued by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in addition to advancing XNUMX places in the Global Innovation Index for the year XNUMX to rank XNUMXth. Globally, out of XNUMX countries.
During his reception of business owners and a number of small and medium enterprise owners, Sultan Haitham stressed the importance of building an effective partnership between the government and private sectors, which will contribute to enabling the private sector to establish projects and investments to support the goal of economic diversification, growth of the gross domestic product, and providing job opportunities for citizens.
This confirmation is also consistent with the Royal Orders to raise the maximum lending limit provided by the Oman Development Bank from one million Omani riyals to five million Omani riyals, and to allow an increase in this limit for development projects that contribute to creating added value, in addition to increasing the percentage of contribution to financing the cost of projects. And expanding the list of activities and fields funded by the Oman Development Bank, while providing additional incentives for projects that are established outside the Muscat Governorate within the framework of plans to invest in the governorates and create job opportunities there.
The foreign policy of the Sultanate of Oman, led by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, provides a global model to be emulated, based on mutual respect, common interests and benefits, non-interference in the internal affairs of countries, respect for international conventions and laws, and upholding the principles of peace, humanity, dialogue and tolerance. This is what Sultan Haitham indicated that the political constants of the Sultanate of Oman are based on... The principles of good neighbourliness, non-interference in the internal affairs of others, establishing a fair system for exchanging benefits and interests, and establishing the foundations of stability and peace and contributing positively to them, making them a source of trust and appreciation by international units and organizations to play effective roles and achieve security, peace and stability in a number of issues at the regional and international levels. The approach of peace and cooperation is the only path and the safest ideal model for the region and the world.
The Sultanate of Oman is pursuing a preventive media policy to protect society from the causes of extremism and extremism that lead to terrorism, by consolidating the values of tolerance, harmony, unity and rapprochement among its members, avoiding inciting sectarian strife in all local media, and following a policy of positive neutrality in dealing with news, especially related to civil and sectarian conflicts in some countries. Region.
At the level of bilateral relations, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq held several discussions during the current year with a number of leaders of brotherly and friendly countries, including the presidents of America, Russia, and Syria, through mutual visits or phone calls, in addition to his visiting a number of countries such as the United Arab Emirates, the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the Islamic Republic. The Iranian meeting dealt with enhancing areas of bilateral cooperation and exchanging views on a number of regional and international issues of common interest.
The Sultanate of Oman is currently presiding over the 43rd session of the Supreme Council of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and considers that the council’s achievements in various fields were thanks to the success of good endeavors, unification of ranks, reunification, interdependence and brotherhood among the countries of the region, united by a common history, a common destiny, and keenness to The Council seeks to build bridges of friendship with friendly countries and all regional and international bodies and organizations. In support of joint cooperation in the political, economic and commercial fields. This year, the Sultanate of Oman hosted Gulf meetings for various ministries, bodies and joint committees.
The Sultanate of Oman reacted to a number of events in the region, including the Israeli aggression on Gaza and the violation of Palestinian rights. In this regard, the King of the country affirmed the solidarity of the Sultanate of Oman with the brotherly Palestinian people and supported all efforts calling for stopping the escalation and attacks on children and innocent civilians and releasing prisoners in accordance with the principles of law. The international humanitarian community, and the need for the international community to assume its responsibilities to protect civilians and ensure their humanitarian needs, lift the illegal siege on Gaza and the rest of the Palestinian territories, and resume the peace process to enable the Palestinian people to regain all their legitimate rights by establishing their independent state on the XNUMX borders with East Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with the principle of the two-state solution and the peace initiative. Arabic and all relevant UN resolutions.
During his meeting with the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the Secretary-General of the Council, he also stressed the need to intensify regional and international efforts to stop escalation and violence and provide protection for civilians.
The Sultanate of Oman is currently working hard, in efforts with its sister countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Arab and Islamic countries, to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza and the unjustified and inhumane attack on the Strip. During their Gulf ministerial meeting in Muscat, the Council countries provided immediate support worth one hundred million US dollars for humanitarian and relief aid, with the need to secure Delivering this aid to the Gaza Strip urgently.
The Sultanate of Oman contributed to resolving a number of contemporary regional and international issues, including the Yemeni crisis, in cooperation with the sister Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni parties to make constructive efforts to reach a comprehensive and lasting solution that meets the aspirations of all the brotherly Yemeni people.
On the humanitarian level, the Sultanate of Oman responded to the efforts made with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Belgium, to facilitate the process of receiving two Austrian citizens and a Danish citizen and transporting them from Tehran to Muscat and then to their countries, in addition to its cooperation with the sister State of Qatar in the mutual release of Iranian and American nationals.
The Sultanate of Oman, in its renewed renaissance, is moving forward under the leadership of Sultan Haitham bin Tariq and the efforts of its esteemed people in making more efforts to ensure the success and achievement of development goals and aspirations, so that Oman and its people can enjoy a more prosperous and prosperous future.