The Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD) welcomed on Wednesday a 38-member delegation from the 7th National Defense batch. The delegation was headed by Major General Salim bin Mussalam bin Ali Qatan, Commandant of the National Defense College (NDC). The visit came as part of the college’s annual programme aimed at familiarising participants with the different strategic projects being developed in the Sultanate, including projects at the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZD).
The National Defense College (NDC) was established and its statute was issued according to the Royal Decree (2/2013). The College is specialised in strategic studies in the fields of security and defense. It seeks to raise the educational level and knowledge sectors and institutions in order to provide senior leaders, whether military or civilian, with the knowledge and skills that are deemed necessary for them to assume high leadership positions.
During the visit, the delegation was briefed on the Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm, Port of Duqm, Oman Dry-dock and Emdad Logistics Company. The delegation was also toured around a number of projects in the Zone.
In his welcoming note, Dr Ismail bin Ahmed al Balushi, CEO of SEZAD, said that SEZAD has endeavored since its establishment in late 2011 to attract local and foreign investments to Duqm. Al Balushi commended SEZAD’s efforts in this regard so far as the investments of government companies and private corporates in the Zone reached about $14 billion, according to the usufruct contracts signed till the end of last year.
He added that such investments are testament of the various advantages of the SEZ along with the incentives and facilities provided by SEZAD to increase local and foreign investments. This also reflects the Sultanate’s security, stability and stimulating business environment offered for investors.
“The Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZD) stands as among the key achievements of the Blessed Renaissance, started by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, May Allah rest his soul in peace. As per His Majesty’s Royal Directives, SEZD is marked one of the investment destinations and a cornerstone of the economic diversification plans in the Sultanate,” Al Balushi affirmed.
Besides, he touched on the competitive characteristics of Duqm that qualify it to be a major trade destination between the East and West.
Besides, it is positioned as an integrated industrial complex on international shipping lines, thanks to its geographical location on the Arabian Sea overlooking the Indian Ocean and close to the consumer markets in Asia and Africa.
Therefore, the Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD) is working closely in cooperation with its partners in the Zone, especially the Port of Duqm, to attract local and international companies and renowned shipping lines to mark Duqm a main station for its containers targeting countries in the Middle East as well as the African and Asian markets, the CEO of SEZAD explained.
Dr Al Balushi highlighted the currently existing projects stating that “The Port of Duqm is one of the most prominent components of the Zone, which is a multi-purpose port, comprising a commercial berth that brings two container terminals, a station for dry bulk materials, and a multi-use station. The Port also includes a dedicated berth to serve government bodies and another berth for oil industries purposes capable of handling petroleum products for the Duqm Refinery and petrochemical companies, which will be coming up in the near future.
He pointed out that there are a number of other major projects supporting investment in the Zone such as Duqm Airport, Drydock for ship repair, Duqm Refinery, Fishing Port, and the oil storage station in Ras Markaz. Other components include a variety of hotel accommodation options, and an integrated road network connecting different investment sectors at Duqm.
Dr Ismail al Balushi stressed that the infrastructure developed by the Government, the investment environment, geographical location of the Zone, and the incentives provided by SEZAD for investors highly contributed to attract many local and international private sector projects to invest in Duqm. Among these projects are Sebacic Acid, which is extracted from castor oil, Sino-Omani Industrial City, Little India Project, the Omani-Qatari investments (Karwa Project), and many other industrial, commercial, tourist, logistics and real estate development projects.