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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Asyad Group eyes ambitions to grow regionally, globally

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Asyad, the national logistics group of the Sultanate of Oman, has outlined plans to expand in the logistics sector, both regionally and globally.


Abdulrahman al Hatmi, Asyad Group CEO, said in an interview with Reuters Event that the company benefitted during the Covid period. Investors saw the high potential of Oman, being situated strategically between Europe, Africa, India and other established economies. Salalah, as one of the biggest and most efficient ports in the world, also saw big volume of cargoes during Covid, the CEO stated.


“With what is happening right now, the ‘Perfect Storm’ — Covid, geopolitical tensions, inflation and interest rates — the Middle East is probably the only growing economy at the moment that has the potential to grow faster. The Middle East presents a very good growth story. We are located two weeks away from China, two weeks away from the US and very near to India and the surrounding economies, which is more than 2 billion market,” the CEO added.


In particular, Africa represents a potential growth market for Asyad. “We are very interested in Africa because its logistics sector is not yet mature. Not only in financial and economic but also in social aspirations, we wanted to serve them better in terms of logistics solutions. We can help them grow in different sectors, whether it is distribution, retailers, manufacturing, mining and more importantly, food security. All these sectors require sophisticated logistic solutions, which I believe we can provide and therefore we can have a competitive advantage to go to these countries and economies and support them.” Al Hatmi stressed that Oman has the enough capacity to handle demands in the logistics sector. “We have enough capacity to handle demand. In terms of infrastructure, Oman is very blessed. We have three major ports, deep-water ports, which have enough capacity to bigger volumes. Our inland infrastructure is very robust and so is our airports, roads, warehousing capacity and free zones. The government has made a lot of investments in infrastructure,” he said.


As for the neighbouring countries, particularly the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the CEO said that Covid made these counties move away from competition to cooperation. “During Covid, we moved away from looking at the sector as a competition between the GCC countries in terms of infrastructure. We are now looking on how we can complement each other and how to integrate solutions. We have constant dialogue with our partners in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other countries and discuss how we can complement each other and how we can play a stronger role and join hands to serve our customers better.” With the recent announcement of Saudi Arabia that it was looking to generate $20 billion of investment in its national supply chain infrastructure, the CEO said that Asyad is interested and will join in the project. “We are both interested and will join as well. Saudi Arabia is open to regional and foreign investors when it comes to logistics industry and other industries. We already have strong collaboration with our counterparts in Saudi Arabia. We are actually bidding for projects together. We are even bidding for solutions together. This was not happening five years ago,” he said.


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