With the logistics sector in Oman set to grow beyond the $12 billion mark by 2017, the Sultanate is quickly advancing with its plans to diversify the economy beyond its traditional petrochemical base, and to transform itself into a major industrial and logistics centre for the region and beyond.
This week, Sohar Port and Freezone (SOHAR) is participating in the fifth annual ‘Middle East Leaders in Logistics Summit’, an invitation-only event being held in Dubai’s Grosvenor House Hotel. The 2015 Summit brings together the cream of the region’s supply chain community, representing the key decision makers leading the Middle East and shaping the sector’s future.
The summit invites the region’s logistics experts to discuss issues affecting the industry and provides the ideal platform for supply chain professionals to reflect on how they can tackle operational challenges, meet expectations and drive efficiency in their organizations.
Jamal Aziz, chief executive officer of Sohar Freezone commented: “As Oman diversifies its economy, Sohar Port and Freezone has a critical role to play. Our rapid growth has positioned SOHAR as a significant regional hub, and we are fully committed to building a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will support Oman in achieving our Vision 2020 objectives.”
The Sultanate is ideally placed to play a leading role in logistics. Oman’s geographical location, its stable political climate, combined with the excellent infrastructure already available as well as upgrades currently under construction, are all key ingredients that will contribute to the continued growth of the logistics industry.
Some $250 billion has been allocated for the construction of 67,000km of railway lines across the Middle East. This includes the eagerly anticipated Gulf Railway, which will connect Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman over the course of the next three to five years. The construction of a planned road link between Sohar and Riyadh is also due to commence in the near future.
Thanks to the wealth of cargo rail experience that Port of Rotterdam brought with it to the Sultanate, the terminals at SOHAR Port and the adjacent Freezone were all designed with rail in mind straight from the drawing board. “This will give SOHAR a significant edge when it comes to integrating cargo rail into our on-going logistical operations,” concluded Andre Toet, chief executive officer of SOHAR Port.