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Khaleej Times: First Economist Conference set to discuss Omanisation


6 August 2006

HIGH-LEVEL decision-makers from around the globe will gather in Muscat next month for a day-long meeting that will discuss a host of issues of key importance to Oman, such as the implications of the country’s drive to localise jobs and the role of the private sector in diversifying the economy away from oil.

Economist Conferences’ inaugural ‘Business Roundtable’ with the Omani government on September 10 will bring together top-rated speakers including Maqbool bin Ali bin Sultan, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Jeroen van der Veer, Chief Executive, Royal Dutch Shell, Frank Chapman, Chief Executive, BG Group, Ahmed Abubaker Janahi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AAJ Holdings, Joseph Hanania, Managing Director, HP Middle East, and U.S. Awashti, Managing Director, IFFCO (New Delhi).  

Topics to be discussed include whether Oman will be able to forge a competitive edge sharp enough to contend with regional neighbours including the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, and whether the drive towards Omanisation of the labour force will block progress for international corporations.

The roundtable will look at how the private sector can help the Sultanate break away from its dependence on oil and what action is needed to exploit free trade opportunities with the US, as well as reforms required to ensure the country has a sustainable future as a key Gulf economy.

“Oman is stepping up the pace of its plan to transform the economy. The roundtable will be the place to engage in open dialogue about the road ahead and where the focus of business needs to be,” Delia Meth-Cohn, Editorial Director, Economist Intelligence Unit CEEMEA, who will chair the Muscat conference, said.

Economist Conferences, a part of the Economist Group, publisher of The Economist newspaper, is a leading provider of international forums for senior executives seeking new insights into strategic issues. The meetings include industry conferences, management events and government roundtables held around the world. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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