UPDATE : 2018.11.20 TUE 17:59
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Oman marks 45th National Day amid modern renaissance, progress, prosperity

With a deep sense of pride, self-confidence and determination, the Sultanate of Oman celebrates its 45th National Day at a time the march of Omani modern renaissance, progress and prosperity continues to take giant strides in all fields under the wise leadership of HM Sultan Qaboos Bin Said.
Modern Oman keeps scoring milestones towards reviving its prominent status in the world arena and contributing tangibly and positively to all that achieves bounty and peace to its people and peoples of all friendly countries.
The government of Sultanate of Oman spare no effort for the establishment of security, stability and harmony in the region, besides supporting all other efforts aimed at realizing peace through dialogue and peaceful means in a manner that achieves the common interests of all peoples of the region and enable them channel their energy to their own development without external interference in their affairs in any way.

▲HM Sultan Qaboos of the Sultanate of Oman

The 45th national day of Oman is accompanied by distinctive achievements
The 45th national day of Oman is accompanied by distinctive achievements under the astute leadership of the Sultan, into wider horizons. To name few of the achievements are as follows: The first achievement is related to the economy and the celebrations cap the successful execution of the 8th Five Year Plan (2011-2015) and the close finalization of draft of the 9th Five Year Plan (2016-2020), which is considered the last 5-year plan in the Oman Vision 2020. The 9th Five Year Plan focuses on social aspects, particularly improving the standard of citizens’ income, increasing support to SMEs and completing mega projects to help enhance the production capabilities of the national income. Meanwhile, work is underway on drafting Oman Vision 2040. Focusing on this aspect, the Supreme Council for Planning?acting through the Omani Development Main Committee?is seeking ways to promote the diversification of sources of income, increasing the role of the private sector, upgrading renewable energy projects (wind power and solar energy) and activating the sectors of industry, transport, logistic services, tourism and agriculture.
The second distinctive achievement is seen in the 8th Majlis Ash’shura Term’s (parliamentary) elections held on October 25, 2015.The new board comprises a large number of young men. The State Council, whose members are appointed by Sultan Qaboos from among the best Omani expertise, works in close coordination with Majlis Ash’shura where the elected members represent their respective wilayats and are engaged in the actual participation in decision making in Oman. Both the State Council and Majlis Ash’shura constitute a bicameral assembly known as Oman Council (or Majlis Oman), and this body works in cooperation with the Council of Ministers and other state institutions.

▲Ambassador Mohamed Alharthy of Oman in Seoul

The third distinctive achievement is related to the Omani foreign policy. Oman has played an active role, regionally and internationally, in promoting peace. The Sultanate has ever since the outset of its renaissance declared that it is a country of peace and that it is keen on utilizing all means to achieve peace and harmony among peoples of the region, to help resolve problems via peaceful means and through positive dialogue aimed to realize rapprochement among all parties.
Because Oman believes deeply in the importance of stability as a prerequisite to development and prosperity, it has gained credibility in world arena for its moderate stands. The 45th National Day celebrations coincide with this global recognition for the Sultanate’s positive efforts in resolving a variety of regional and international issues.
Among these achievements is the fruitful outcome of negotiations between Iran and the Group of 5+1 about Iran’s nuclear programme. The signing of the July 14, 2015 nuclear deal pronounced the successful efforts made by the Sultanate to bring the two sides to an understanding in the first place. Oman actually hosted meetings between Iran and the Group of 5+1 in September and November 2014.
The Sultanate is also exerting efforts to stop the ongoing fighting in Yemen and help bring the Yemeni disputing parties to the table of negotiation in preparation for the establishment of peace in the Republic of Yemen.
The Omani benign efforts as relates to the development in Syria are an ongoing process. Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Alalawi, recently visited Syria and met President Bashar al-Asad on October 25, 2015. Earlier, in August this year, the Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid al-Muallem, visited Muscat. Last month, a delegation from the Syrian opposition visited Oman. In the meantime, Russian President Putin made a telephonic conversation with Sultan Qaboos in the wake of President Al-Asad’s visit to Moscow last month.

▲Architectural Heritage-Nizwa Castle

It should be noted that the Sultanate of Oman is taking such initiatives in complete impartiality and within the context of a sincere desire to achieve peace and security for the peoples of the region and this earned the Sultanate more confidence and respect from all parties within the region and beyond.
Overall, Oman exerts tangible efforts in enhancing the concept of coexistence, tolerance, dialogue and spread love and peace for which our world today is in great need more than any other time before.

Achieving economic diversification:
It is highly significant to note that, despite the sharp fall in international oil prices since mid-2014?slashing the country’s revenues by 36%, the Omani government still makes relentless efforts to accommodate this slump and prevent any negative impact on the services rendered to citizens. The government is working to enhance sources of financial revenues, to cut government spending and to increase the contribution of non-oil sectors to the GDP. The effects of this policy began to show over the past few months, with the Sultan urging for such precautionary measures to be taken when he presided over a meeting of the Council of Ministers on the first day of, November 2015.

Sultan Qaboos has underscored the importance of maintaining the welfare of citizens and the services rendered to them. He called for speedy action to devise plans that are capable of achieving economic diversification, competition of projects of public benefit, attraction of more investments to Oman, activation of partnership with the private sector and continual encouragement of the setting up of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), given that institutional and financial frameworks have now been made available for SMEs.
The Government of Sultan Qaboos seeks to develop administrative systems through the implementation of a measure to gauge the quality of government services and speed up transformation to electronic government. In the meantime, the Council of Ministers has entrusted the Supreme Council for Planning with the revision of mechanisms and programs of the National Strategy for Logistic Sector within the future vision of the Omani economy. The Cabinet has also urged the departments concerned to speed up the completion of remaining projects at Duqm zone and to push forward urban development and sustainable development processes with a view to realize the aspirations of citizens.

▲Investment in Free Zones

The efforts undertaken so far have help improve the Sultanate’s global ranking in terms of speed of finalization of business transactions. In this category, Oman ranked 2nd among Arab countries and 22nd worldwide among the 158 surveyed in the “Level of Happiness Report 2015” conducted by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions. Oman also ranked 7th worldwide in the 2015 Quality of Life index, according to Nimbo international electronic data network’s report published by British daily The Independent last June.
It is well known that such indexes are linked to a great number of economic, social, cultural and health factors which achieve individuals’ well-being and the positive outlook of different countries.

▲Royal Opera House of Oman

Oman-Korea relations and investment opportunities:
Oman-Korea relations date back more than a thousand years, when Omani merchants met their Korean counterparts on their way to China during Silla dynasty way back during Silk road. In modern times, they established diplomatic relations in 1974. Since then, Oman―Korea relations witnessed a remarkable development in various fields and the trade volume has increased and even expected to double in the coming years due to large engagements and investment opportunities and partnership between Oman and Korea.
Korea is regarded a major trading partner of Oman, and both countries engage in numerous economical exchanges and cooperation. Oman provides large quantities of oil and LNG to Korea. On the other hand, Korea exports many industrial products, including automobiles, vessels, hi-tech electronics and electric goods to Oman.
Moreover, many Korean companies such as GS, Daewoo, Hyundai, Doosan, Hanjin, Dealim,and others are contributing to the development of Omani infrastructure and other major projects. To reflect the strong ties, an exchange visit from both sides has taken place. Oman has also participated in many international events and conferences which have taken place in Korea including the Silk Road festival which was held in Deagu.

▲Omani Embassy in Seoul

Oman enjoys many investment features and incentives, which have enabled it to attract domestic and foreign investment, including security, political stability and the application of a free economic system.
Oman has earned top rankings in the international community on competitiveness, economic freedom, and doing business indicators, while maintaining multiple cost advantages
The Sultanate of Oman strives to make use of its geographical location by setting up economic zones and free trade zones to help attract local and foreign capital. Free zones provide a package of investment incentives and privileges like exemptions from taxes, streaming of licensing and clearance procedures, import of all goods permissible in the country, exemption from the “lowest limit of investment” condition, free use of currencies, exemption of profits from income tax and other incentives.
Up to 100% foreign ownership is permitted for setting up a business in one of Oman’s free trade and economic zones, along with major investment
Located on the strategic axis of the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf, Oman boasts accessible trade routes and fast transport times to the world’s most attractive emerging markets
There are many investment opportunities and major ongoing projects and many more to come, such as a railroad project, a medical city, an education city, ports, airports, tourism projects, petrochemical projects, and many other projects in various fields throughout the country. Investment in Oman is wide and there are various projects in in various places including Duqum economic free zone, Sohar free zonemany other industrial area and free zoned throughout Oman. Lately,SOHAR Port and Free zone has added South Korea’s container line Hanjin Shipping to its list of global shipping lines offering direct links to this Omani deep sea port.

History, Culture and Tourism of Oman:
Oman history goes back to 5000 years ago. Its strategic location between the east and the west was a major part for being trade route. Therefore, it had connection with varies civilizations in the past. Omanis also were known as sea faring and trading nation and played major role in silk road and had connection with Korea during Silla dynasty.
Oman enjoys an unspoiled heritage, culture and traditional lifestyle in almost every aspect of life which is derived from the Islamic religion. The Omanis are a society committed to kindness, friendship, hospitality and the value of the family as the solid foundation of life. Arabic is the official language; English is considered a second language and widely used in the business sector. Oman has rich cultural values, art, handicrafts and folkloric performances. There are a number of UNESCO-classified World Heritage sites in Oman. The Royal Orchestra of Oman is considered one of the best worldwide, and the Royal Opera House recently opened as an example of its appreciation of art.

▲Nature-WadiBani Khalid

Oman is a beautiful country with many appealing sites and destinations. The popularity of Oman is mainly due to its geological structure, beautiful landscapes, highest mountains range, stunning architecture, majestic castles and forts, and historic traditional markets (Souk), with green oases of palm trees, golden sand dunes, deep history, rich heritage and culture etc. Oman also has some exotic beaches with crystal clear and sparkling water and luxurious resorts and hotels, with authentic restaurants accompanied with Arabic hospitality.
Oman is also known as the country of Sindbad the sailor and the land of Luban. Stories of the adventures have been distilled into the tales of Sindbad the sailor, and they describe the historical sea routes from Sohar in Oman via Ceylon and Indonesia to Canton.
Luban is a tree is also known as Boswellia, mentioned in bible and has good smell and along time in history, Luban is known as gift of kings. Luban was exported from Oman to other civilizations such as Egypt, China and Europe. Luban is commonly used in temples, churches Mosques and homes.
In conclusion, I would like to say that during these blessing days of the 45th National day, Oman is proudly witnessing the achievements in various aspects of life made by the hands of its people under the wise leadership of H.M Sultan Qaboos.

▲Palm trees in Oman

On this occasion, I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the Korean government and people for the achievements that have been made in various areas, which are being felt everywhere, and the role of Korea in addressing issues of local, regional and international level besides hosting international events and conferences.
Also, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for the Korean people and government for their cooperation, kindness, generosity and hospitality they have extended to us.Thanks and appreciation also extended to the sponsor and Korea Post who have made this supplement possible.
Last but not least, I would like to invite the Korean people to visit Oman, explore the heritage, culture, adventure and tourism land marks. I also would like to invite the Korean companies to participate in the investment opportunities of various projects in Oman. I’m confident that our relations and cooperation in the coming days will witness further enhancement and development. Ultimately, my heartfelt wishes to Korea to further success and progress and for the Oman-Korea relation further development and prosperity

▲Muscat, the Capital City of Oman.

Muscat, the Capital City of Oman.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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