Muscat: Oman will receive finance to the tune of $301 million from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for developing two major transport projects in the country – maritime infrastructure at Duqm and for preparing the country’s first railway system. The bank’s board has already approved the funding, which is the first project financing by AIIB in the Arabian Peninsula, according to a press release.
The bank’s support comprises $265 million towards Oman’s maritime infrastructure at Duqm Port and $36 million to prepare the country’s first railway system. Upon successful completion, the projects are expected to enhance economic prospects in Oman and provide more efficient and effective maritime trade links to other bank members, both in the Gulf and further afield.
Duqm Port is strategically located with the potential to become a regional logistics hub with an economic footprint far beyond Oman’s borders. The bank recognises this opportunity and has supported its development. These projects are also among the first projects the bank is financing individually.
“I am pleased the bank will be able to help the Government of Oman diversify its economy through the approval of these two projects – the bank’s first in the Arabian Peninsula. The bank’s capacity to prepare such important projects is developing rapidly. We have a strong pipeline of investments for next year and we will continue working hard to help develop the sustainable infrastructure that Asia needs,” said the bank’s president Jin Liqun.
These two projects bring the total amount of loans approved so far by the bank in its first year of operations to $1,130 million.
“These are the bank’s first port and railway projects and help us to build our capacity in these important sectors. Our support will also help Oman prepare to develop a world-class railway network and manage it in a highly professional manner, as well as opening up other investment opportunities for the public and private sectors,” added the bank’s vice-president and chief investment officer DJ Pandian.