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Oman seeks Japanese investment in Duqm SEZ


The Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm (SEZAD) kicked off its road-show in Japanese capital here yesterday, September 10, aimed at attracting Japanese investment to Oman’s biggest industrial and maritime hub overlooking the Arabian Sea.

Yahya bin Saeed al Jabri, Chairman of the SEZAD, is leading the Omani delegation, which includes representatives of the Omani Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (Ithraa), Port of Duqm, and Oman Dry-Dock Company, among other entities.

“The strategic location and political stability of Oman makes it an economic and investment hub in the region, with Duqm abutting sea-lanes that serve markets in the Arabian Gulf, Asian and Africa,” said Al Jabri at the ‘Invest in Duqm’ seminar held as part of the road-show.

He added that the Sultanate has achieved strong growth over the past years due to incentives provided by the government to investors as well as to developers of infrastructure projects. As well as simplifying procedures, providing incentives and encouraging investment policies, Oman is also a member of a number of international economic organisations and trade conventions, he noted.

The ‘Invest in Duqm’ seminar, Al Jabri said, showcases a full spectrum of investment opportunities offered at the SEZ. He invited Japanese businesses to make the most of the road-show to explore avenues to expanding trade, economic and political ties between the two countries. “The future is promising and investors — whether domestic or foreign — will benefit greatly from the investment incentives offered by the Omani government,” the Chairman said.

Tokyo is the first stop in a the four-day-long road-show. The delegation will also visit Osaka City and tour a number of sites for a firsthand look at Japanese expertise, as well as explore opportunities for collaboration.

For his part, Japanese Minister of State for Trade, Economy and Industry Yoji Muto welcomed the hosting of the seminar in Tokyo, while underlining the close relations between the Sultanate and Japan.

He said that Japan hopes to deepen relations between the two countries, stressing that the Sultanate is a very important country for Japan in all fields. He also called on the Omani side to take advantage of Japan’s technological expertise in advancing the Sultanate’s economic diversification drive.

Japan, the minister said, will contribute to Duqm investment through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Diplomatic relations between Oman and Japan span over 40 years — a milestone that was commemorated with the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Sultanate in January 2014 during which he met with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. A memorandum of understanding was also signed on the occasion, organising the dialogue and political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries, as well as laying the ground for further cooperation in economic, educational and cultural areas.

There were also presentations by Saleh bin Hamoud al Hassani, Director-General of Investor Services SEZAD; Muhanna al Sinani, Investment Promotion Officer at Ithraa; Reggy Vermeulen, CEO —Port of Duqm; Eng Hilal al Kharusi, Executive Managing Director — Oman Oil Duqm Development Company; and Haitham bin Nasser al Taie, General Manager of Oman Dry-Dock Company.

Joint team to discuss proposal for Japanese Industrial City in Duqm

Kenato Sonoura, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan, received in his office in Tokyo on Monday, September 10, 2018, Yahya bin Saeed al Jabri, Chairman of the Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD).

The two sides discussed the potential establishing a Japanese Industrial City in Duqm. Both sides agreed to form a joint working group to explore the idea of a Japanese industrial hub in Duqm.

Sonoura welcomed the proposal and promised to study it with Japanese specialists and companies. He praised the good relations between the Sultanate and Japan, expressing his satisfaction with the talks he held in the Sultanate during his visit earlier this month.

In his discussions, the SEZAD Chairman urged Japan to leverage Duqm’s geostrategic location to target markets in Asia and Africa with Japanese exports. Incentives provided by the Omani government now make it attractive for Japanese businesses to set up operations in Duqm, he notd.

Sonoura commented: “We support the economic cooperation between the two countries and we encourage Japanese companies to invest in the Sultanate. We look forward to seeing in the future an increasing number of Japanese companies operating in the Sultanate.”

Separately, Yuriko Koike, Mayor of Tokyo, also received the Omani delegation. At the talks, SEZAD Chairman Yahya al Jabri detailed efforts to make Duqm an attractive destination for Japanese investors, executives and employees.

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