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ICT law on anvil

 Staff Reporter

MUSCAT

The Sultanate will soon have a comprehensive regulatory framework to streamline the roles of different agencies in the infotech sector, a top official has said.

The new regulation will help the country achieve its ICT goals facilitating smoother interaction between Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC), Telecom Regulatory Authority and Information Technology Authority, Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Alawi, Acting Director, Communications and Postal Affairs, MoTC, told a telecom conference on Tuesday.

The event was held under the auspices of HH Dr Sayyid Fahad Bin Al Julanda Bin Majid Al Said, Assistant Secretary-General for Innovation Support, The Research Council.

“The law will create a new roadmap that will outline the roles of MoTC, Telecom Regulatory Authority, Information Technology Authority and how they will work together to develop new ICT industry in country,” Alawi said. It was with the Ministry of Legal Affairs after which it would go to the Council of Ministers for approval, he added.

The regulation is expected to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the fast-evolving sector. The future in ICT includes the Internet of Things and 5G mobile network and the new law would enable businesses make use of opportunities created by them.

Fahad said that in ICT innovation, the efforts of different institutions converge to give the desired output. Market forces would decide where capital and talent are deployed in the ICT sector, he said, adding that the ability to visualise the future was the essence of successful innovation and entrepreneurship.

There were continuous efforts to spread awareness of the national innovation strategy, he said, adding that by November the winners of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry Innovation Award organised by TRC could be declared.

Fahad said venture capital funds like Oman Technology Fund and Ibtikar Development Oman were attracting entrepreneurial talent to the Sultanate while at the same time, “We are trying to grow our entrepreneurial talent and upgrade from research to products through entrepreneurship”.

He saw the country’s ranking in innovation as a byproduct of success which would come with increase in local talent which needed to be groomed.

At the Innovation Park Muscat the Institute for Oil and Gas (InstOG) is likely to open by the end of 2018, he added.

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