OMAN FORUM 2013: JOB CREATION -- THE NATIONAL AGENDA
Leading experts from the Government, economy and society debated on the most important agendas before the nation, in OMAN FORUM: JOB CREATION -- THE NATIONAL AGENDA. The event took place on Monday, 6 May at Oman Auditorium, Al Bustan Palace Ritz-Carlton. The annual Arabic event was organized by Alam al-Iktisaad Wal A'mal (AIWA), Oman's premier business magazine published by United Media Services (UMS). HE Darwish bin Isma'eel bin Ali al Balushi, Minister Responsible for Financial Affairs, was the chief guest for Oman Forum 2013.
Apart from senior bureaucrats from the relevant ministries, over 300 strong audience representing the senior-and-middle level leadership of private sector and public sector companies; civil society leaders; and higher education students attended it. The noted experts, in the form of two panel discussions, discussed the challenges related to the pressing issues of job creation and SMEs development and proposed solutions for implementation by the relevant stakeholders.
Human resource development and improving the quality of higher education in the country to meet the new requirements of job market have been and will continue to be the priority area of government policies, stated HE Darwish while speaking at the Forum. Replying to the questions raised during the panel discussions at Oman Forum, he said the government will look into the ways to increase the productivity of the national workforce on a par with the international standard. Highlighting the importance of in-job training, HE Darwish called on the private sector to invest more on training and equipping their employees. "The private sector cannot expect the government to give them fully equipped employees to do the job," he added.
The first session of the panel discussion was focused on 'Job Creation - Maintaining a Balance Between Social Obligation and Business Growth'. The panelists in the first included HE Mohsin al Balushi, Advisor, Ministry of Commerce & Industry; Ahmed Al Wahaibi, CEO, Oman Oil Co.; Salim Naseer Al- Hadhrami, Director General - Planning and Development, Ministry of Manpower; Eng. Saleh Al Shanfari, Chairman, A'Saffa Foods; Hussain Salman al Lawati, MD, Oman Cables Industry and; Said Al Hamdani, AGM & Head-HR, Ahli Bank.
The second session was devoted to the subject 'SMEs -- Time To Play Their Due Role in Job Creation'. The panel comprised Mundhir al Barwani, Director-External Affairs, Petroleum Development Oman; Salah Al Mawali, DG-SME, Ministry of Commerce & Industry; Abdullah Al Jufaili, GM, Sharakah; Hussain Ghuloom, CEO, Al Waqia Shoes; Ilham Al Hamid, AGM-SME, BankMuscat and; Hassan M. Juma, MD, Mohammed Juma Sultan Co. Noted TV anchor Yusuf al Hooti moderated the Forum.
The event was supported by the Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Civil Services, Sultan Qaboos University, OPAL, Oman Society of Contractors and The Research Council (TRC). Oman Oil Company, Ahli Bank and Galfar were the Strategic Partners whereas Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and Oman Cables Industry were the Associate Partners; and Omantel, Nawras, Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel and Al Jazeera Steel Products Company were the Support Partners for the prestigious forum. Times of Oman and Al Shabiba were the Media Partners for the event. Merge 104.8 and Al Wisal 96.5 were the radio partners. www.sowlef.com and www.albaladoman.com were the online partners.