Wednesday, 12 May 2021 08:51 GMT

Oman is Holland of Arab world: UNCTAD official

(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Muscat-

As the government prepares a long-term innovation strategy a UN expert has said that Oman is 'the Holland of the Arab world'.

Looking at the sultanate's innovation potential Dimo Calovski economic affairs officer at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said Oman's cosmopolitanism could translate into innovation.

"It's an open society which is cosmopolitan by nature. Countries that are cosmopolitan and competent tend to be more innovative' he said at a workshop on Monday. 'You can say Oman is the Holland of the Arab world.' Innovation in science and technology is seen as a driver for countries' long-term economic growth.

"At UNCTAD and in development policy we generally say that innovation and economic development are the same thing' he said. 'Eventually you have to move to do something different using the available resources recombined in a way that produces better or more value.' The Omani government is seeking to promote innovation through its 2040 strategy.

Dr Sharifa al Harthy director National Innovation Strategy said it [strategy] is '75 per cent' complete and should be sent for approval from a supreme committee within the first half of the year.

The supreme committee is chaired by H H Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq al Said chairman The Research Council (TRC) and includes ministers of commerce education agriculture and fisheries and manpower as well as H E Dr Mohammed al Zubair advisor to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said on economic affairs. It will receive final approval from the Council of Ministers. "The key issue in Oman is the need to develop a framework for having coordinated science technology innovation strategies' said Calovski.

On Monday TRC began the latest in a series of workshops to develop the strategy. The minds behind the strategy are working on four pillars: Intellectual property and knowledge transfer; economic diversification; human resources and talent development; and institutional communication between the public and private sectors and academia.

Participants include representatives from academia private sector and the public sector. The team is being headed by H H Dr Fahad bin Julanda al Said secretary general for innovation development at TRC. TRC began working on the strategy last April.

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