Muscat: In line with its efforts to attract investors and developers and contribute to the advancement of the national economy, the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn) organised on Monday a meeting entitled ‘Investment Opportunities in Madayn’ in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.
Held in the presence of businessmen and investors in Saudi Arabia, the event was organised under the auspices of Sayyid Dr Ahmed bin Hilal Al Busaidi, the Sultanate’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The event aimed at highlighting the investment environment in the Sultanate and the mechanism to set up and manage projects in the industrial estates.
Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, CEO of Madayn, noted that Madayn has an experience of more than 35 years in the field of construction, management and operation of industrial estates in the Sultanate.
He said that the journey began with Rusayl Industrial Estate in Muscat and by now Madayn is managing and operating seven industrial estates throughout the Sultanate in addition to the Knowledge Oasis Muscat and Al Mazunah Free Zone. With more than 2,000 investors investing in the various industrial estates, the total volume of investments in the nine estates is getting close to OMR7 billion. Besides, the total area of Madayn’s estates exceed 100 million square metres.
Opportunities in Madayn
Khalid bin Sulaiman Al Salhi, Director of Marketing and Promotion at Madayn, delivered a presentation that highlighted the available investment opportunities in the industrial estates that fall under the umbrella of Madayn.
He pointed out the vision of Madayn which is to enhance Oman’s position as a leading regional centre of manufacturing, ICT, innovation and entrepreneurship excellence, and its mission to attract industrial investments and provide continued support, through regionally and globally competitive strategies, good infrastructure, value adding services, and easy governmental processes.
Al Salhi also underlined the objectives of Madayn which include attracting foreign investments to the Sultanate and localising the national capital; contributing to stimulating the private sector to achieve sustainable economic and social development; achieving environmental sustainability, and contributing to the creation of new job opportunities for the national cadres.
Elaborating on the incentives and facilities offered by Madayn, Al Salhi stated that the incentives include lease period of lands and facilities for up to 30 years, renewable for the same period; right to sell constructions and buildings on the leased land; right to lease the buildings and facilities built on the leased lands by investors; right to involve new partners in the lease contract; exemption from tax on net profit for a period of five years for industrial projects; exemption from customs duties and taxes on production input; among other incentives.
Al Salhi also gave a brief on the role played by Madayn’s technology arm – the Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) in creating, promoting and developing Oman as a robust, diverse, prosperous and self-sustaining knowledge-driven economy. KOM aspires to contribute to the advancement of economic diversification through offering investment opportunities in the IT sector and eventually build a knowledge-based economy in the Sultanate.
In addition, he mentioned that Al Mazunah Free Zone, which has been seeing a growing investment movement as the free zone, has witnessed in recent years the completion of a lineup of services including road network linking the free zone with the nearby cities and markets as well as electricity, water, sewage, and telecom services.
He added that general free zones’ incentives are offered to investors, including 30 years of tax free operations, customs’ exemptions, 100 per cent foreign ownership and no minimum capital requirements.
Other incentives include Omanisation ratio in the free zone being only 10 per cent, along with facilitation of procedures for non-GCC investors to obtain visa and residency permits. Al Mazunah Free Zone also offers other incentives, including easy access of individuals and investors to the free zone, without entry visas being required for Yemenis and facilitation of employing Yemeni workforce without work visa being required; among other incentives.
Mubadrah and Shumookh
Mustafa Al Lawati, CEO of Oman Investment and Development Holding Company (Mubadrah), stated that Madayn has established Mubadrah with the aim of developing and improving the operational processes, competitiveness, infrastructure and facilities of the various industrial estates.
The company shall take over the assets management of the existing nine estates. This will eventually result in raising productivity, enhancing income, developing the industrial estates, and offering comprehensive services for the investors operating in these estates.
The establishment of Mubadrah is part of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme adopted by Madayn and comes in line with the national programme to promote economic diversification ‘Tanfeedh’, which is part of the 9th Five-Year Development Plan.
Based on this programme, the private sector in the coming years will have the role of constructing, managing and operating the industrial estates and economic zones pertaining to Madayn.
In light of the rapid growth witnessed by the industrial sector in the Sultanate and to activate the vision of Oman’s economy (Oman2020), Madayn established its investment arm – Shumookh Investment and Services SAOC in 2010with 84.26 per cent owned by Madayn and Omani Pension Funds. Shumookh aims at developing infrastructure projects and encouraging investment in the industrial estates under Madayn. The vision of Shumookh is to develop globally competitive industrial infrastructure in the industrial estates of Madayn and create the best environment for the growth of industries in Oman through the attraction of strategic partnerships to invest and implementation of diverse infrastructure development projects in the industrial estates pertaining to Madayn.
The event also highlighted the value adding initiatives offered by Madayn to the investors. In 2010, the Industrial Innovation Centre (IIC) was initiated to support the manufacturing sector and serve the industrialists taking into account the significance of innovation and scientific research in developing and advancing Omani industries.
Of recent, the IIC has been transformed into a commercial unit with the support of ‘Tanfeedh’. Madayn also supports Omani Small and Medium Enterprises as it has established the National Business Centre (NBC) to act as an incubator for the SMEs by offering them a platform to advance their business ideas and develop them into growing ventures.
Additionally, Madayn undertakes constant efforts to promote locally manufactured products in the country and abroad through ‘Made in Oman’ campaign, which is a national initiative to expand markets of the locally manufactured products and contribute to the advancement of the national economy.