Investing in Infrastructure

Investing in Infrastructure

Muscat – Oman’s infrastructure and growing logistics sector will be the focus of Ithraa’s upcoming Inside Stories session scheduled for 7:00pm, Tuesday 11 July at the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) Training Centre in Mawalih North.


It is estimated that from now through 2030, the world will need to spend around US$57 trillion to build the ports, power plants, railways, roads, telecommunications, water systems and other infrastructure that the global economy needs. If other forms of infrastructure are included, those associated with housing, energy and mining the figure could be as high as US$9 trillion a year.


Much of this spending is due to urban development. Today, over half of the world’s inhabitants - 3.6 billion people - live in cities. The proportion is the highest in history and it is growing fast. By 2030, 60% of the population - 5 billion - will be city dwellers. Indeed, the way in which cities plan for, build and maintain infrastructure will impact their ability to attract and retain investment, businesses and talent.  


For many advanced economies the priority is the renewal of aging infrastructure; for emerging ones, like Oman, it is to build the structures required to boost exports and manufacturing, as well as connect local firms to the global marketplace, particularly rapidly urbanizing and industrializing countries in the GCC, Asia and Africa.


Generously supported by Al Mouj Muscat and PACA the 11 July Inside Stories session will be moderated by Qais Al Kharusi, CEO, Oman – Brunei Investment Company. Panellists include: Nabil Al Bimani, Executive Director, Logistics Strategy, Asyad; Suleiman Al Shaqsi, Logistics Manager, Petroleum Development Oman; and Tapio Naula, Program Director - Trade Facilitation, Asyad.


“Infrastructure is widely recognized as a key ingredient in Oman’s economic success,” said Taleb Al Makhmari, Ithraa’s Director General of Marketing & Media and organizer of the Inside Stories initiative.


He explained: “We’ve found that the top attributes that make the sultanate attractive to foreign investors are quality of life; access to international markets and talent; stable political environment; and infrastructure.”


However, many issues surrounding spending on road and rail networks, air and sea ports, free zones, industrial estates, warehousing, business parks and telecommunications infrastructure are poorly understood, suggests Ithraa’s Director General.


In order to better understand these issues, Inside Stories will explore the importance of Oman’s hard and soft infrastructure, its impact on exporters and importers, in particular SMEs, its relevance to the sultanate’s long-term economic vitality and role in helping unlock the country’s economic potential.


According to Al Makhmari, targeted public-private sector investment in infrastructure is key to attracting international businesses to Oman, and a topic that will be debated at Inside Stories.


“Today, the mobility of people and capital has created fierce competition among cities. We’re all out there competing for the best ideas and talent. To prosper, it’s imperative we create a setting where talented entrepreneurs and the businesses they grow want to be. And in response to this, Oman has invested heavily in infrastructure transforming the sultanate into an international business and tourist hub that’s now home to some of the world’s best ports, roads, airports, free zones and industrial estates.”