Muscat: The Council of Ministers’ adoption of the National Local Content Policy (2024-2030) is considered a road map and a compass to provide more job opportunities for citizens, localizing industries, developing and adopting entrepreneurs, encouraging small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and reducing foreign purchases, in order to ensure an increase in the country’s trade balance surpluses.
Commenting on this, Eng. Badr Salimm Al Maamari, Secretary General of the Secretariat General of the Tender Board, said: “The adoption of the national policy for local content is focused on achieving sustainability through achieving a balance between environmental, economic, and social requirements, as well as by empowering the private sector in its role in leading a competitive economy by enhancing local content”.
He added that, the national policy for local content will contribute to enhancing economic competitiveness.
He stressed that developing local content with all its components at the level of the national economy aims to improve and follow up on government procurements, in order to achieve development and financial goals in accordance with national visions, strategies and plans.
Al Maamari clarified that, the National Policy for Local Content represents a national agenda in which all economic segments contribute to its development and empowerment. This can be through members of the society and the public and private sectors.
On his turn, Faisal Abdullah Al Rawas, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), said: “The Cabinet’s adoption of the National Local Content Policy (2024-2030 ) sets a comprehensive framework for achieving the objectives of the Local Content Policy. It will mainly contribute towards enhancing the participation of the private sector, particularly the small and medium enterprises in the major projects being implemented in the Sultanate of Oman and creating more business opportunities that support the sustainability and the growth of the private sector.
He added that the policy aims to create a national system responsible for organizing and monitoring local content in all sectors.
Al Rawas pointed out that local content is required to enable national producers in producing goods and services, which can be an essential component of contracts and tenders. This also will contribute to boosting the productivity of the private sector and strengthening efforts to attract investment.
Meanwhile, Sultan Said Al Khaduri, Head of the In-Country Value and Local Content Office at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, emphasized that, adopting a national policy for local content will contribute to strengthening the manufacturing sector in the Sultanate of Oman and enabling it of achieving sustainable development and strengthening the national economy.
He pointed out that statistics issued by the National Centre for statistics and Information (NCSI) indicate that the contribution of the manufacturing sector in the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) at current prices reached 8.1% by the end of the third quarter of 2023, as well as contributing by 9.3% in the GDP at constant price.
Al Khaduri added that the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion is working to develop the industrial sector by taking advantage of national industrial capabilities as a main engine for economic diversification goals within the framework of Oman Vision 2040.
He emphasized that the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion has adopted policies and programs to enhance local content so as to increase the contribution of the national workforce in the industrial sector, and to empower small and medium enterprises by enhancing the production of goods and providing services locally.
He noted that the programs to enhance local added value and local content are some of the main means used in developing the national economy.
He affirmed that the Ministry is also working on implementing a special program to enhance and enable local content in the industrial sector through “industrial networking” models with the aim of localizing the intermediate products industry and benefiting from local production inputs.
For his part, Al Hassan Ali Al Farsi, a senior legal affairs researcher at the Secretariat General of the Tender Board, said: “The adoption of the national policy for local content (2024-2030) aims to create a national system for local content that would organize and follow up on local content in all sectors at the national level. This will be done in accordance with national indicators and regulations.
It is worth noting that the programs of the national local content system will work in accordance with several pillars, namely supply chains, local workforce development, innovation and technology and developing and grooming entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium enterprises. – ONA
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