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Duqm attracting positive attention from world over: Alawi
October 2, 2019 | 8:56 PM
by Times News Service
Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Oman’s minister responsible for foreign affairs. - File picture
 
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Muscat: Duqm’s special economic zone is attracting positive attention from around the world because of its economic potential and success, according to Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Oman’s minister responsible for foreign affairs.

On the heels of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, Alawi said, “The Sultanate of Oman’s unique geographic position makes it a point of interest for many countries across the world. This comes both from the countries which have positive relations with us, and also from those with which we’ve had less interactions in the past. For example, Russia’s interest has grown exponentially in recent years.”

According to him, most of these countries are interested in working with the Special Economic Zone in Duqm, which is getting attention from leading countries in the business world, to develop industries and for re-export.

“The Special Economic Zone in Duqm, especially began attracting a great deal of attention from countries regarding exports after Oman established a massive port of Duqm. They want to use the port and the special economic free-zone as a central hub to gather products and then re-export them to other countries. We welcome everyone and the authorities such as Ithraa and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as they are sparing no effort in this field.”



According to the minister, Duqm will become a global hub for petrochemical industries.

“We expect that SEZD will become a globally recognised area for petrochemical and other industries, and as a spot for re-export to other countries. This is, of course, supported by the government and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, may he be safe, in order to happen gradually in the next five year plan, the next ten year plan, and the plan for 2040,” he added.



The Special Economic Zone in Duqm has recently been working to attract investments for its industries, including Russian investments in the zone.

HE Yahya Al Jabri, the chairman of SEZAD, said: “A strategic location and political stability in the Sultanate qualify Duqm to be a major centre for trade and industry in the region.”

A first-of-its-kind campaign in Moscow aiming to attract Russian investments to Duqm involved “about 20 CEOs, as well as representatives of almost 80 other companies involved in industry, tourism and petrochemicals,” according to a statement by SEZAD.

Al Jabri said that the campaign “comes in light of the remarkable demand of Russian companies to explore the Sultanate of Oman as a promising country and Duqm as a special economic zone, to be an ideal centre for them to expand their business,” adding that “there are many initiatives put forward by the Sultanate to facilitate the trade exchange between Oman and Russia, such as the electronic visa service (E Visa) and Oman Air to conduct direct flights between Muscat and Moscow.”

The Duqm Refinery and Petrochemicals Industries Company (DRPIC) also announced that it would award an engineering design project for its petrochemicals complex to a British company. The engineering design deal would include facility in central Oman and the “230 km pipeline from concession areas to the Petrochemicals complex in Duqm.”

Dr Salim Al Huthaili, chief executive officer of DRPIC, said: “The award of FEED contracts came after a rigorous competitive tendering process. This key milestone enables Duqm Refinery to maximise the value of the refinery products and enhance its market competitiveness.

“This project is our contribution to the Omani economy and will allow us to deliver our strategic objective which is to ensure a sustainable and economic prosperity for both Oman and our shareholders,” he added.

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