Sohar eyes India, rolls out expansion plans
Managers from Oman's Sohar Port and Freezone hit the road in India in October as part of a three-day tour to promote the Gulf gateway to South Asian investors. Oman hopes to play an increasingly important role in the regional logistics industry.
Mumbai and Chennai were the focus for the Sohar roadshow with this port and Freezone having set its sights on India's logistics sector even as it builds up its regional presence. The Middle East has embarked on its most ambitious rail network ever, with some $250 billion earmarked for the construction of nearly 70,000km of railway line over the next five years and Oman's new railway network will help transform the Sultanate into a major cargo hub for the entire Gulf region. This, in turn, creates investment opportunities for Indian companies.
The roadshow supported Oman's Vision 2020 programme which aims to diversify the country's economy beyond the oil industry. The rapid development of the port and Freezone in Sohar is an example of how Oman is strengthening its manufacturing capabilities and is fast shifting away from being a country that only exports hydrocarbons.
Andre Toet, CEO of Sohar port, said, "Sohar is a critical link in Oman's commercial logistics industry and is committed to building a sustainable logistical gateway that will help Oman to achieve its Vision 2020 objectives. From the standpoint of Oman's economic diversification strategy, the logistics industry has the potential to surpass the hydrocarbons sector as the nation's economic mainstay." With its strategic position near the Strait of Hormuz, Sohar Port and Freezone is one of the world's fastest growing hubs and has sustained double-digit growth for over a decade.