Duqm special economic zone woos foreign investments
July 21, 2013 | 12:00 AM
The Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm seeks to turn the Sultanate’s aspirations into reality and make the area one of the main sources of public revenues. Photo — Supplied

Muscat: The chairman of the Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (Sezad) Yahya bin Said Al Jabri said the area, which is one of the largest free economic zones in the Middle East, will attract a large number of foreign investments for the refineries and petrochemicals projects.

In a special statement on the occasion of Blessed Renaissance Day on July 23, he affirmed that that the Authority, alongside other companies operating in Duqm, seeks to turn the Sultanate's aspirations into reality and make the area one of the main sources of public revenues and a major contributor to diversifying income sources for the national economy and generating job opportunities.

He pointed out that the government has invested some OMR1.750 billion to establish the infrastructure for Sezad. Omantel and Nawras have also built a modern communication system.

He added that government investment in the area would increase gradually with the implementation of many other projects with regard to the phases of development for the area, plans for which extend up to 2020. He explained that the field is now open to more investments by local and foreign investors.

He further said that the oil refinery is now being handled by a consultancy to create a detailed design. The refinery work is expected to start in 2015 and should be ready by 2018. Yahya pointed out that the project aimed at enhancing the Sultanate's status in the field of petrochemical industries and creating more job opportunities for Omanis.

In addition to the economic benefits that will be generated by the zone, it will also ensure regional development for the Governorate of Al Wusta with the Wilayat of Duqm as the centre for many economic activities.

This will attract many benefits for the other wilayats in the Governorate of Al Wusta and will also contribute towards generating more job opportunities for the Al Wusta residents.

Al-Jabri voiced his satisfaction for the progress made to date in transferring the affiliation of the projects at Sezad from governmental agencies to the Authority. He added that the work team in charge of this issue had made steady strides in this matter.

"We have started developing the legal framework to change the agreements in the name of the Authority, which will offer the remaining package from Duqm Port through the internal tender committee at the Authority," he further added.

He further stated that the Authority was now focusing on preparing the industrial area to receive small, medium, and heavy industries by providing the required infrastructure and other industry-related services.

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