To mark the National Day of the Sultanate of Oman today (November 18), Việt Nam News presents an article written by the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Việt Nam, Saleh Mohamed Ahmed Al Suqri.
On the 18th of November 2021, the Sultanate marks its 51st National Day anniversary. With firm resolve, Omani citizens continue to make more achievements under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, who vowed to upgrade the march of nation building and enhance the pace of progress. Within the last two years, His Majesty has made many achievements, he restructured the State’s Administrative Apparatus to keep pace with Oman Economic Vision 2040, which started to be implemented in January 2021 within the 10th Five Year Plan, and has met the serious challenges, including the global spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
These challenges prompted the government to undertake stringent measures, including a Medium-Term Fiscal Balance Plan (2020-2024) which features many initiatives and programmes aimed at establishing solid foundations for financial sustainability, reducing general debt, upgrading the efficiency of government spending, enhancing the State’s financial reserves, improving revenues from investments of government (to help the country deal with any challenges) and, thus, setting economic growth upright.
A view of Muscat, the capital city of Oman. — Photo courtesy of the embassy
In line with Oman 2040 Vision and the need to diversify sources of income, with aim of realising the supreme national interests of the country, His Majesty the Sultan directed Oman Investment Authority to restructure the boards of directors of 15 government firms coming under its supervision. Also, ICT sector firms were restructured.
According to the same vision and the vital role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in economic growth, the government of the Sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Labour, worked to establish a suitable environment for SMEs. The steps included the exemption of SMEs from Omanisation percentages and the allocation of some professions to expatriate manpower. Also, the portal Invest-Ease has introduced many electronic services to the business community.
The schema of laws and incentives related to investment (including the Foreign Capital Investment Law) helped furnish an attractive climate for local and foreign investments. The Omani government is keen to encourage investment in Omani ports, particularly the Port of Sohar and the Port of Salalah, in addition to special economic zones (like the Special Economic Zone in Duqm and the Port of Duqm). The tourism sector also forms one of the basic pillars of economic diversification, and the government has devised clear-cut strategies to maximize benefits from investment in the tourism sector.
His Majesty Sultan Haitham accorded top priority to the sector of education. He gave directives to provide a supportive environment that enhances learning, research and innovation. The National Strategy for Research and Development has been modernized to keep pace with Oman Vision 2040, notably the development of a cognitive community that is capable of competing and converting knowledge into economic revenue. The setting up of the University of Technology and Applied Sciences is testimony to this approach of encouraging research and innovation and benefitting from advances of artificial intelligence and the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).
Since the outset of its blessed renaissance, the Sultanate has been implementing a policy of environmental protection and pollution prevention. This policy comes within the framework of a comprehensive strategy for sustainable development, conservation of wildlife and preservation of renewable resources, and this approach was supported by encouraging environment research, exchanging expertise, gathering information, spreading public awareness and instilling basic values and principles that support the goals of sustainable development.
Oman seeks to reaffirm the principle of setting a balance between development requirements and maintaining environmental safety, that is why the government takes a keen interest in analysing the impacts of projects on the environment. This applies to all sorts of industrial, service and infrastructure projects, and the executing laws, regulations, decision and national strategy programs and drafts environment protection plans in keeping with the Sultanate’s commitment to international environment agreements within the context of basic goals for sustainable development.
Omani Ambassador to Việt Nam Saleh Mohamed Ahmed Al Suqri presents US$300,000 to a representative from the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee on September 23, 2021. — Photo courtesy of the embassy
One of the bright aspects of renewed Omani renaissance under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik is the Royal attention accorded to Omani women. The vital role of women in the nation building march has been highly recognised and His Majesty the Sultan stressed the need to ensure that women get their full rights guaranteed by law, including their right to work side by side with men across all sectors to serve their country and society.
His Majesty the Sultan pledged that he will elevate Oman, in the coming stage, to the level of aspirations of its people in all spheres, where the citizens’ participation will be the main pillar of national action, asserting his absolute confidence in the abilities of loyal Omani people to cope with the requirements of the age and the next stage of development, with clear vision, extreme wisdom, emphasized that “Nation building is a public responsibility binding upon all. No one is exempted. All should contribute within their capacities. Oman has been founded and its civilisation consolidated with the sacrifices of its people, who relinquished everything dear for the sake of their country’s dignity and supremacy. They exhibited exemplary fidelity in performing their national duties.”
Bilateral relations between the Sultanate of Oman and the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam have developed and made great achievements in cooperation and have been enhanced in all fields since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992. The two countries enjoy good cooperation relations in various political and economic fields. Bilateral trade increased in recent years by 50 per cent and recorded US$200 million last year.
Regarding the investment, the Omani-Vietnamese joint company invests in various important economic sectors in Việt Nam such as health care, services, agriculture, energy, and other infrastructure projects such as highways and water treatment plants with amount of more than US$300,000,000.
The opportunities for cooperation between Oman and Việt Nam are promising and growing day by day. Recently, the Government of the Sultanate of Oman has donated an amount of US$300,000 to the friendly Vietnamese people, directed towards the families in the Central regions who had been affected by the storms and floods last year. Oman hopes that this Humanitarian Aid will help to relieve the difficulties these families have suffered, with sincere wishes to continue the cooperation between the two friendly countries. VNS
The Special Economic Zone at Al-Duqm, Oman. — Photo courtesy of the embassy