Oman's Sultan Haitham promises support for youth in anniversary address

Ruler says good progress was made in employment for nationals in 2021

Oman's Sultan Haitham meets the sheikhs of North Al Sharqiyah governorate, at Al Shumoukh Fort in Manah this week. Oman News Agency
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Oman's government is working to ensure young people are given opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship support, Sultan Haitham said on Tuesday.

In a televised speech to mark two years since his ascension to the throne after the death of long-time ruler Sultan Qaboos, he said good progress had been made in 2021 to employ more Omanis, despite challenges.

"We have placed youth at the forefront of our government’s concerns," Sultan Haitham said.

"We look forward with hope, combined with determination, that all sectors of the state and the private sector will play the role expected of them in promoting employment, being the cornerstone of the economy and development."

Sultan Haitham said Oman was dedicated to training its young people for the labour market, and would provide assistance to entrepreneurs.

"We are resolved to lend them our support and encourage their entrepreneurship programmes," he said.

"We will offer necessary support and incentives to small and medium enterprises, given their vital role in stimulating economic activity and employment opportunities."

The country is diversifying its economy away from oil in line with the Oman Vision 2040 plan.

Based on directives from Sultan Qaboos, the plan has three main pillars focusing on people and society, economy and development, and governance and institutional performance.

"Local investment constitutes one of the basic pillars of diversification of the national income," Sultan Haitham said.

"After we launched a set of national programmes and furnished proper suitable grounds, we hereby urge all to invest funds locally."

Watch: Satellite captures Cyclone Shaheen's path from space

Watch: Satellite captures Cyclone Shaheen's path from space

The Ruler also promised support for the victims of climate change-related events and said an early-warning system would be established.

The sultanate suffered from weather events in 2021, including Cyclone Shaheen, which killed 12 people in Oman and left more than 5,000 in emergency accommodation.

"Based on our keenness to provide maximum levels of protection and care for citizens and residents, we hereby direct the government to speed up the rate of support and development of the early-warning system and to endorse the best urban planning schemes to curb the impact of such climatic conditions," Sultan Haitham said.

In December, Oman's finance minister promised 200 million rials ($519.5m) to repair damage from the cyclone.

Updated: January 11, 2022, 8:24 PM