Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said this week that Oman had made strides in its economic progress, citing the country's potential for future development.
Addressing delegates at the third Oman Economic Forum (OEF), the ex-leader of the UK’s Labour Party said the country had clear opportunities to develop its SME and tourism sectors, in addition to industries such as oil and gas.
“Oman has ambitious proposals in the latest plan, which includes the development of oil and gas industries,” he was reported as saying by the Oman Daily Observer.
“I have to say that there is huge potential in this country and in its development, not only in major industries but also for small and medium enterprises and tourism sectors.”
He added that the Arab Spring had changed the region, but hinted that revolution was not the answer to regional issues.
“The process of change will continue. There is enormous desire in people to participate in the decisions that affect their lives. But a steady way of change is better than revolution, and without making economic progress, everything else is less important.
“The most important thing to the economic growth in this region is to create an environment in which right economic decisions are being taken.”
Blair, a Special Envoy to the Quartet on the Middle East, has established a successful speaking career since resigning as Britain’s Prime Minister in 2007.
Washington Speakers Bureau in 2008 said it had a two-year waiting list to book the former Labour party leader to speak, with institutions prepared to pay up to GBP£157,000 (US$250,000) for a speech of around an hour and a half.