Thursday 21 March 2019

Taleb Al Makhmari

4IR will benefit Oman’s economy, says expert

MUSCAT, April 17, 2018

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) offers Oman significant economic and productivity advantages, as well as new jobs, lower prices, more competition and greater product choice for consumers, said an industry expert.

“On the other hand, while technology has historically created more employment opportunities than it has destroyed, all the signs are 4IRwill cause widespread global economic disruptions over the next few years,” added Taleb Al Makhmari, director general  of Ithraa, a government-run, ISO and Investor in People certified inward investment and export promotion agency.

Reinforcing Al Makhmari’s point, McKinsey & Company research indicates that existing technologies could soon be responsible for the automation of 30 to 50 per cent of all current work activities – leading to $16 trillion in eliminated wages and significant job losses. The first to go are likely to be repetitive, blue-collar jobs, but even professionals will be at risk, as AI and robotics become more widespread. Not one Omani industry will be left unaffected by these changes.

“There are certainly major challenges ahead but it is not all doom and gloom. However, local firms will have to adopt a different mind-set - scrutinizing and understanding what their value propositions are and how they can leverage4IR technologies to stay relevant to customers and differentiate themselves,” explained Ithraa’s director general.

It is clear that when implemented well, digitally-based technologies and systems can improve productivity, quality and reduce costs, he pointed out.

“Given increased levels of globalization, competition has never been as fierce. Omani companies, particularly SMES, will have to work harder to remain competitive. Engaging in 4IR is an imperative for the sultanate’s long-term economic prosperity. It is that straightforward,” noted Al Makhmari, also Marketing & Media and organizer of the Inside Stories initiative.
Ithraa is hosting its Inside Stories 2018 with a focus on 4IR on May 8 at the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) Training Centre in Al Hail North in Muscat.

With a firm focus on the future, the goal of Ithraa’s Inside Stories is to draw in the community and explore new ideas.

“Events like Inside Stories are great at bringing people together from different backgrounds. Indeed, we are motivated by the belief that everyone needs to be part of the conversation about the future. Given the changes 4IR will bring, the call for society to develop new tools and skills is more urgent than ever,” pointed out Sajda Al Ghaithy, Ithraa’s media director.

“We need a pro-active response to the challenges and opportunities presented by 4IR. Ranging from upskilling workers who face the threat of automation, to helping firms that do not have the skillset in-house or the experience to implement digital technologies to encouraging more research and development to foster innovation. In simple terms, 4IR will be a game changer,” concluded Al Makhmari. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Ithraa | industrial revolution |

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