There were also calls for other sectors to play a greater role in backing community projects and for transparent benchmarks to effectively track implementation.
The event, at the Hilton Hotel in Salalah was held under the auspices of His Excellency Dr Yahya Badr Al Ma’awali, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Development, and more than 100 people including key public and private sector decision makers, oil and gas industry professionals, economists, entrepreneurs and community leaders attended.
An interactive panel discussion and question and answer session covered areas such as the importance of the corporate sector promoting social responsibility and sustainable development, and cited relevant examples and best practices.
Dialogue also focused on the contributions of the oil and gas and banking industries, strategies to optimise help to communities, potential social investment opportunities and associated implementation challenges.
His Excellency emphasised the importance of the role played by PDO and other companies in sustainable development, as well as the need for clarity and transparency in discussions relating to social investment projects. He called for more collaboration and highlighted the point that his Ministry was fully ready to provide support and facilitate projects whenever required.
Guest speakers at the event included PDO External Affairs and Value Creation Director, Abdul-Amir Abdul-Hussein Al-Ajmi, Bank Dhofar CEO Abdul-Hakeem Al Ojaili, Salalah Methanol External Affairs Director Ahmed Kashoob and Dr. Dhafir Al Shanfari, Chief Executive Officer for the Omani Authority for Partnership for Development. The forum was moderated by Dr Ahmed Kashoob, TV presenter and economic expert.
Among the recommendations proposed were the need to:
· Develop national guidelines for corporate social responsibility
· Use the Social Service Strategy issued by the Ministry of Social Development as a framework for action
· Highlight the principles of integration and collaboration to achieve sustainable development
· Devise key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the impact of social investment
· Organise awareness campaigns on the importance of voluntary work
· And showcase the role of promising projects in the Sultanate’s sustainable development journey.
Al Ajmi said: “The second PDO Majlis provided an excellent opportunity to discuss how to best target so social investment so lasting and tangible benefits can be delivered to as many people as possible.
“PDO firmly believes that we only succeed if the communities in which we operate succeed and we have invested many millions of Omani rials over the years in key areas such as training for employment, learning and research, health and infrastructure by working closely with stakeholders to identify real needs.
“The Majlis sessions provide a great platform for our key partners and stakeholders to come together with us, share best practices and knowledge and discuss challenges, opportunities and solutions in priority areas so that we all serve Oman to the very best of our ability.”
The inaugural PDO Majlis assembly in April covered the subject of energy management. Other topics to be featured in forthcoming PDO Majlis events across the Sultanate include In-Country Value and research and development (R& D).