New Challenges for CFOs
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New Challenges for CFOs

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The economy of Oman is growing steadily, and inflation remains low. The hydrocarbon sector led the real GDP growth of 4.3 percent in 2022. However, the economic growth is expected to drop to 1.3 percent in 2023 and then rise to 2.7 percent in 2024, due to the OPEC+ oil production cuts and the moderate growth of the non-hydrocarbon sector, which is affected by the weak recovery of construction activity, the global economic slowdown, and the tighter financial conditions. The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) segment is a silent strength of Oman.

But more often than not, MSMEs are underserved and unserved across parameters, including financial and technical assistance, especially considering the sector’s significant contribution toward GDP. Even though the pandemic is over, the Russia- Ukraine conflict prevails, and the SMEs in the country struggle to keep their neck above water. The Omani government, however, recognizes this crater and the future implications such a scenario could trigger.

However, like almost all other C-suite leaders, CFOs face herculean challenges. In the aftermath of the state of uncertainty taught by the pandemic, the stakes have gone a notch higher for CFOs to collaborate and contribute directly to the company’s growth. But this won’t be an easy path ahead, given the unprecedented nature of the situation at hand. They are against unprecedented skill shortages, labor supply, and supply chain challenges. It’s no secret that financial leaders are in dire need of team members who are not only skilled in accounting, auditing, and compliance but also understand data visualization, are flexible thinkers, possess good communication skills, and, most importantly, have a lot of business sense. According to a recent Ernst & Young report, 22 percent of CFOs prioritize transforming how finance talent is recruited, retained, and developed. This yearly special issue is dedicated to the exemplary, forward-thinking CFOs in Oman who navigate these challenges successfully.

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