Opaz woos new businesses to its special economic zones and free zones

Business Saturday 05/March/2022 15:56 PM
By: Times News Service
Opaz woos new businesses to its special economic zones and free zones

Muscat: As part of the Sultanate of Oman's participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (Opaz), organised a two-day promotional event aimed at meeting with numbers of CEOs and chairpersons of different international companies.

The participating delegation, headed by Dr Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Chairman of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones, with the participation of HE Sheikh Salim Musallam al-Kathiri, Head of the Sultanate's Commercial Office in Dubai and included the CEOs of Sohar Free Zone, Special Economic Zone at Duqm, Salalah Free Zone and Al Mazunah Free Zone.

The promotional event reflects Opaz endeavour to attract new international companies to invest in the special economic zones and free zones. Organising the event came in cooperation with the Commissioner-General of the Sultanate of Oman’s Pavilion at Expo Dubai and the Sultanate of Oman’s commercial office in Dubai.

Jalal bin Abdulkarim Al Lawati from the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones said that holding this event aims to directly meet with a group of businesspersons, CEOs and chairpersons in different key international companies. “This marked an opportunity to update them with the latest investments developments in the economic and free zones. The event served to create direct communication between investors and decision-makers with a focus on three main sectors: tourism and real estate development, logistics, food processing and manufacturing,” he added.

On the other hand, Eng. Yahya bin Khamis AlZadjali, In-Charge of Managing Operations of the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (Sezad), remarked, “We were able to familiarise the businesspersons with the available opportunities in tourism and real estate development and the attractive advantages offered by Sezad in this aspect. Among these advantages are quality infrastructure, sound urban planning and relative natural and tourism advantages. Besides, there was a highlight to the strategic plans for developing tourism in the Zone as awe as the attractive package of incentives and facilities granted by the Zone to encourage businesses, support tourism projects and ensure the development of sustainable tourism and real estate investment.”

Omar bin Mahmoud Al Mahrizi, CEO of Sohar Free Zone, confirmed, “Sohar Free Zone is home for diverse projects in logistics and food processing, while the Zone is rich in having investors from GCC countries, Europe, India and Southeast Asia. Through these promotional activities, we seek to reach a selected list of countries that were directly focused on through arranging bilateral meetings, while some expressed their interest in the Sohar Free Zone. The Zone enjoys several facilities, services and capabilities that qualify the Zone to connect the Sultanate with global markets and supply chains. This strength is derived from its strategic location in the centre of international trade routes between Asia and Europe, in addition to the competitive fees of the Zone’s services that enhance the operational efficiency of various projects. All these factors will attract local and foreign investments alike.”

Dr Ali bin Mohammed Tabuk, CEO of Salalah Free Zone, said: “We focused on several sectors that we attract to the Zone, especially those related to manufacturing industries, which have added value. The Zone is equipped to attract such sectors and has many capabilities supported by a prime location and an ideal port. As well, it offers advantages for establishing companies with 100% foreign ownership, tax exemption and unrestricted capital transfer, no minimum capital, and not specifying the capital’s currency. Hence, we need businesses and manufacturing industries that are in line with the directions of the Sultanate of Oman, while considering they are environmentally friendly.”

Said bin Abdullah Al Balushi, Director-General of Al Mazunah Free Zone noted that the participation in this promotional event was important to introduce Al Mazunah Free Zone through meeting with businesspersons who are interested to expand their investments. Through these meetings, we discovered the interest of companies in the Zone’s advantages, located close to the Republic of Yemen, being the Gulf gateway for transit trade to the Republic of Yemen and from there to East African countries. The different incentives and facilities offered by the Zone were presented and focus was highlighted on several key sectors, most notably logistics and transit trade.