Muscat: Oman Development Bank (ODB) has pumped more than OMR16 million into value-added economic projects in Al Wusta Governorate, including OMR8 million for the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (Sezad).
The ODB indicated that the fisheries sector benefited most from the bank’s funding of projects in the Sezad, with OMR2.8 million distributed into 159 loans in the fisheries sector.
The tourism sector ranked second in terms of ODB financing, garnering a total of OMR2.6 million for 16 loans in hotel, motel and tourism resort businesses.
The ODB seeks to keep pace with Sezad's development efforts through the introduction of more than 45 loans, worth more than OMR1.26 million, for various industries.
Over the past five years, 40 activities covering the sectors of occupational and public services were funded to the tune of OMR850,000.
The ODB also financed two mineral businesses at the Sezad worth around OMR500,000.
Hamad Al Harthy, Head of the department responsible for financing small, medium and micro-projects and management of ODB portfolios, said that the lending portfolios dedicated to the Sezad have seen steady growth (more than 47 per cent) during the current year.
Al Harthy added that more growth is expected to occur upon the start of operation of mega projects in the Sezad which, he said, will give a strong push to the establishment of supporting projects, notably in the SME sector.