Vision 2040 identifies 12 national priorities covering the entire spectrum of Omani life. Key priorities include creating a strong administrative and regulatory framework that facilitates job creation, in addition to investment and business growth that are central to building new sustainable infrastructure.
Citizen well-being through healthcare and education, and ensuring fair distribution of development gains across the governorates are other key goals. The Vision also aims to ensure that protecting the nation’s natural resources and unique environment requirements are balanced with economic growth.
Indeed, the Vision 2040 document can be interpreted as the government’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) blueprint. New economic growth should be aligned with global environmental standards, progress should be inclusive and socially cohesive, and governance should be equitable, fair and lead to sustainable growth.
Sustainable development goals
The focus on a diversified economy, sustainable cities and the development of aquatic resources and tourism underscores the sultanate’s desire to achieve growth that is in line with global ESG standards.
To this end, a key goal of the government is to be ranked among the top 20 countries in the global Environmental Performance Index, which evaluates countries on environmental health and ecosystem vitality. Oman is currently ranked 110 out of 180 countries.
The Omani government also envisions its non-oil share of total GDP to rise to 90 percent by 2040 (from a current 61 percent), and aims be among the top 20 countries in the Global Innovation Index, up from its current 84th spot.
“At HSBC Oman we are committed to supporting our clients’ transition journey’s through sustainable financing and investment in ESG areas that will develop their sustainable growth,” commented Melika Betley, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Oman,
Oman’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), submitted to the 2016 Paris Agreement, underscore the sultanate’s deep commitment to reducing gas flaring, developing new legislation on climate change and adopting low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies.
These goals will require substantial investment from the government and the private sector.
Renewable energy initiatives
The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company forecasts the procurement of 3,050 megawatts (MW) of renewables-based capacity by 2025, accounting for 16 percent of total electricity.
In 2019, a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power secured a U.S.$275-million contract to build the Ibri II Solar PV Independent Power Plant Project, a 500-MW greenfield solar photovoltaic power plant in Ibri, northwest Oman.
The project is Oman’s largest utility-scale solar photovoltaic independent power project. At peak generation capacity, the plant will power 33,000 homes and offset 340,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.
High standards of living
Finally, the government is prioritising investment to raise standards of living across the country.
Central to this goal is the creation of a skilled local management that “will ensure sustainable use and effective exploitation of land and natural resources”, according to the Vision 2040.
To ensure that its next wave of growth is in keeping with the global trend to collective responsibility, the Omani government has aligned its priorities to ESG benchmarks, creating a Vision 2040 blueprint to make Oman a sustainable, thriving business hub.