(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The second annual Oman Transport Infrastructure Summit 2012, with a special focus on land transport infrastructure such as roads, bridges, tunnels and railways, kicked off at the Grand Hyatt Muscat on Monday.The three-day summit is being attended by senior representatives of transport authorities, transport operators, international and local consultants, contractors, financiers, designers, civil engineers, material suppliers and manufacturers. Participants will discuss ongoing and future transportation projects, exchange views on best practices to overcome challenges and share expertise to develop cost-effective and sustainable transport infrastructure in the sultanate.The summit's chief guest H E Eng Salim bin Mohammed al Nuaimi, the Undersecretary for Roads in the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC), said that the steady infrastructural growth in GCC countries is an indicator of the importance of this sector and its active role in socio-economic development, urbanisation and attracting foreign investment. ''Good infrastructure is the backbone of sustainable development plans,'' he said.''A forecast study on road networks in Oman till 2030 has been carried out by a specialised firm in order to prepare strategic plans and cope with future requirements. It shows that development plans for all sectors in general and the road sector in particular depend on strategic restructuring.''H E Nuaimi said that the road network in the sultanate has witnessed significant growth in the past four decades, with asphalt roads covering around 12,402km in length. This is 42 per cent of the total road network of 29,411km planned.''MoTC adopted a strategy to interlink various governorates and link Oman with neighbouring countries with a network of main and secondary roads following the latest standard specifications that suit the country's topography,'' he said.MoTC is carrying out several projects worth a total of RO1.5bn across various governorates, the most vital ones being the 365km Batinah highway and dualisation of the 250km Bidbid-Sur road. It is also working on a consultancy study on dualisation of the 715km Adam-Thumrait road.The 1,061km Oman railway network, part of the ambitious GCC rail project, could prove to be a key component in facilitating domestic, regional and international connectivity and promoting trade and industrial activity.