Special focus on expanding industrial sector


09/02/2014 10:23 AST

Oman Industry Day is celebrated every year on February 9 to commemorate His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said's visit to the Rusayl Industrial Estate on February 9, 1991.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has been keen on celebrating Industry Day by organising an annual meeting, which will be held on Sunday at the Crowne Plaza Muscat . The meeting brings together H E Eng Ali al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Omani industrialists and people interested in industry.

Nahla bint Abdulwahab al Hamdi, director general of industry, said that the meeting will review the latest developments relevant to industry in the sultanate and listen to the opinions of industrialists about the most important challenges that stand in the way of Oman’s industry, as well as solutions and possible suggestions to develop the sector. She added that the meeting will try to address important problems and issues that come in the way of investors and development in the sector.

The meeting will try to solve these issues by answering queries that are within the ministry’s remit, while refering other enquiries to the relevant parties. She also said that one of the positive results of such meetings is finding an atmosphere of trust, constructive cooperation and transparency between the private sector and government officials for the benefit of the industrial sector and its investors.

In reference to the most important strategic industrial foundations of this vital sector, the director general of industry said that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will update, in the coming period, the future strategy for industry in coordination with the Supreme Council for Planning.

A committee of competent entities has been set up to deal with this issue. As for the contribution of the industrial sector to the gross domestic product (GDP), she said that according to the economic indicators of the industrial sector, the sector has enjoyed continuous progress in terms of its contribution to the GDP that reached 12 per cent, adding that under the Vision 2020 for the economy, the contribution of the industrial sector to the GDP would be 15 per cent. She added that the manufacturing sector added US$3.04bn to the economy in 2012, compared with US$2.96bn in 2011, a growth of 2.5 per cent.

She added that based on data provided by the National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the value of non-oil industrial exports stood at RO2.3bn till August 2013, saying that those exports included mineral products, chemical products, construction material and electrical products.

The value of foreign direct investment in the manufacturing industrial sector stood at RO13.42bn in 2012 with a 18.3 per cent contribution to the total value of foreign investments, registering a 24.3 per cent rise from 2011. The volume of Omani industrial exports for the same year stood at RO3.59bn, with a growth rate of 18.5 per cent in 2011.

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