MUSCAT: March 10: The General Secretariat at Supreme Council for Planning hosted on Tuesday Peter Ho, a senior adviser to the Centre for Strategic Futures, in Singapore to enrich Oman 2040 vision project with Singaporean experience. The event was held under auspices of Sultan al Habsi, Secretary General of the Council with presence of technical committee members of Oman vision 2040, and a number of decision makers, economists, businessmen and investors.
Commenting on the event, Talal al Rahbi, Deputy Secretary General, said that hosting such events are significant due to various global experiences which are being discussed and brought to public.
“The world is changing continuously and many scenario plans emerge. We need to focus on implementing plans and learn from them ” he pointed out, affirming that the Council is looking forward to host experts and hold workshops to frame the ninth five-year plan 2016-2020.
During his presentation, Ho explained the success of Singapore’s development plans. “What makes our experience special are three main reasons; thinking of long-term investments, integration of various sectors and strict implementation.”
He said the planning officials must take into account public opinion before designing and implementing plans, and finding the right balance” .
265129Ho elaborated on the planning methodology followed by Singaporean government. “Having a plenty of scenarios in a society gives the government the chance to interact with issues that need to be considered in future.
This kind of thinking is important to meet sudden and nontraditional needs. It also allow the government to predict potential impacts before they happen.”
Ho said if governments have planning strategy, which factor in future trends, it would help to avoid impact of unforeseen events. Giving examples like terrorism, cyber threats, epidemic diseases and climate changes, he said “this also will save the country millions of dollars which may be spent on solving the crisis”.
Talking about Singaporean path on strategic planning, he indicated that Singapore has started thinking of future since the 80s. It established Risk Assessment Office in 2004 to look into solutions to avoid crisis. The government also established an Office for strategic Policies in 2008 and another one for Strategic planning in 2009.
“There must be a national agreement regarding the society needs. Comprehensive planning must be considered. Yet the government opinion should be heard as it tries to contain new ideas and work to develop them” he said. Peter Ho is also a Senior Fellow at the country’s Civil Service Council.
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER