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Developments progressing well towards modernisation and prosperity
THE sultanate's 48th National Day on Nov 18, 2018, is a celebration of great pride, immense happiness, deep love and gratitude to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said for the country's multiple achievements over the years in various fields, in its march of Oman's renaissance.
Oman has undergone a huge transformation since before 1970 to the 21st Century with active efforts in securing peace, security and stability. This advancement of economy and society is geared to bring prosperity and raise the standard of living of Omani citizens.
SCORING SUCCESSES ON VARIOUS FRONTS
Since the launch of the ninth Five Year Plan from 2016 to 2020 and the implementation of the National Economic Diversification Programme (also known as tanfeedh) in preparation for Oman 2040 Strategy, Oman's economy has diversified its sources of income away from its reliance on oil.
The government aims to increase foreign investments and private sector participation while at the same time reducing public sector spending.
One key project is the Special Economic Zone in Duqm. When completed, the SEZ will help turn the country into an advanced regional logistics centre, propelling the economy to even greater heights.
Tourism is a sector which is thriving in Oman, especially with the opening of the new Muscat International Airport and introduction of e-visas. This is a significant step in tourism promotion, along with the tourism festivals in Muscat and Salalah that continue to attract visitors every year.
Under the serene guidance of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, Oman has embarked on numerous modernisation initiatives and has grown from strength to strength. I am proud to say that the Omani nation is of a high international standing.
Through the continued pursuit of cordial and peaceful diplomacy with its neighbours, Oman will remain a shining example of safety and security for the Gulf and the Middle East region.
High level visits by the Sultanate are forward-looking initiatives to resolve conflicts in the region through dialogue and peaceful means.
STRONG BILATERAL TIES
Oman and Singapore's relationship goes back centuries. Muscat Street in Kampong Glam and the Jewel of Muscat, the replica of an ancient Omani ship at the Resorts World Sentosa Maritime Experiential Museum, are tangible representations of our historical ties.
We also share the same desire to see economic prosperity and social stability, and to future-proof our economies.
Our trade relations have traditionally focused on oil and gas and trade in goods. I am pleased to note that this cooperation has now expanded into new areas such as tourism, aquaculture, urban planning, and IT. This year, a Singapore-listed company discovered the first offshore oil field in Oman. Production will begin in the second half of 2019.
Oman was also pleased to welcome Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean for an official visit last month. DPM Teo's visit further affirmed the strong relationship between Oman and Singapore.
The Oman-Singapore relationship has indeed developed and diversified over the last few years. Given the excellent bilateral relations and warm ties that Oman and Singapore enjoy, I would like to once again affirm that the links of friendship and cooperation will continue to flourish and mature in accordance with the aspirations for progress and well-being of both our nations.