An economic lifeline during the pandemic

The current pandemic has adversely impacted a number of sectors during the last six months stemming from the closure of institutions and companies and the shuttering of economic activities.
This impact has been particularly significant for the logistic sector, especially aviation services, which led some international airlines to announce successive losses and then bankruptcy. However, the maritime sector continued to play a constructive role with commercial vessels and containerised cargo moving to and from international seaports of different countries of the region.
This has helped to maintain commercial flow of goods between countries and stabilised prices of basic commodities and goods.
With the recent decision to open airports in the region and beyond, everyone expects that the logistics sector will return to normality especially once land borders are fully operational as well, enabling the smooth flow of goods and people through land crossings, but also airports and seaports.
The logistics sector was among the most affected by the current pandemic, although the workforce was quick to heed the prescribed preventive precautions and keep safe from possible exposure to Coronavirus infections among people returning from abroad.
It is expected that institutions operating in the logistics sector, especially airports, will exercise the same precautions when commercial flights resume next month.
Oman and other countries in the region were affected by the closure of the logistics sector organisations, especially the land and air borders, while maritime ports played their full role in supporting foreign trade by receiving ships carrying imports and exports, including medicines, food and other essential needs.
The Sultanate is located on the open seas, and through the smooth operation of its many ports in Muscat, Salalah, Suhar, Musandam, Shinas and Duqm, all the Omani governorates have managed to enjoy access to the essential goods, while also re-exporting part of these items to some neighbouring countries that need them.
With this free flow of merchandise, countries were able to face the difficult times they went through during this crisis.
Omani ports have been able to manage these operations efficiently by operating at their full capacities and working round the clock to handle ships with goods destined either for Oman or for re-export to the countries of the region and beyond.
This sector today proves its great ability to maintain a continuous flow of goods and basic commodities, while maritime relations with the world are being developed to support trade flows between global ports and local ports.
During the pandemic, the Sultanate was able to deal with more than 200 international organisations operating in the logistics sector, facilitating direct maritime trade links with 86 ports in more than 40 countries.
Oman and other countries in the region need to develop their infrastructure in these vital sectors, invest in the equipment required to operate mega projects in various fields, and attract more new investments in the maritime fields, roads and airports.