The OER debate 2010 was a mind stimulating forum that discussed the way ahead on the vision 2020, recent economic downturn and challenges that faced the economy.
The event saw Oman Inc.’s best minds join hands to share their insights on the 3 key critical factors that impacted the economy which included discussion on:
- Investment in Human Resources
- Nurturing SME’s potential
- How to diversify beyond Oil & Gas
Pankaj Khimji, Director, Khimji Ramdas emphasised on the need for strengthening the public-private partnership in the areas of training and education. He highlighted the need for a contiguous dialogue between schools, educational institutions and Universities with the corporate houses for reviewing the syllabus and curriculum. He elaborated the further need to review the state of affairs at the school and college level by using the right methodology that can produce employable skilled manpower.
He also touched upon on the changing taste and preferences of today’s consumers and the rise in their consumption patterns. He pointed the shift in spending that is taking place more at malls and indoors level. And credit cards creating a generational shift in spending patterns and people are today more open to the environments of Cafés and restaurants.
Other issues discussed by the panel touched upon, the need for a broader energy portfolio, the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the need to re-examine and encourage their growth. The debate also gave focus to the need for business communities to rejuvenate opportunities for the youth (50% of the National population is below the age of 20); challenges in subsidies; tackling attrition issues and need for investment in fields including Tourism and IT that create return on investment by increased employment opportunities.
The OER debate was organised under the auspices of His Highness Sayyid Tariq Bin Shabib, Editor-in-Chief Oman Economic Review and Yahya Al Jabri, executive president, Capital Markets Authority.
The panelists included Dr Mohammed Abdulaziz Kalmoor, Bank Sohar CEO, Wael al Lawati, Omran CEO, Pankaj Khimji, Khimji Ramdas Group Director, Stephen R Thomas, OBE, CEO, Renaissance Services, Ross Cormack, Nawras CEO, Dr Mohammed Ali, Galfar Engineering and Contracting Vice-chairman and Managing Director, and Dr Brian Dennis Buckley, Oman LNG General Manager and CEO.