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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

APMT eyes port growth in Oman

Improved integration of transport infrastructure combined with regulatory reform and investment in Oman could propel port growth in the country, according to global port operator APM Terminals.

 “Oman has a good opportunity to improve its business environment in terms of ease of doing business, developing integrated transport chains that can even better link road, rail and air transport through a world-class port,” Kim Fejfer, chief executive of APM Terminals said.

The government of Oman has long been supportive of port development projects and at the start of this year launched a Request for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the lease to operate and manage the country’s first dry port as it seek s to reform regulation and attract foreign investors.

“By simplifying the business regulatory environment – Oman will attract even more entrepreneurs and capital that will reduce barriers to cross border trade,” Fejfer said, adding that the country’s ports were “capable of accepting the largest vessels in the world.”

Located in the South Al Batinah Logistics Area (SABLA) the new dry dock project is designed to position the Sultanate as a logistics gateway for the Gulf and Middle East region.

“A successful bidder is expected to be awarded a licence for the lease and operation of this inland port facility during this year,” Ahmed bin Said al Azkawi, project manager for the development said.

The planned site will eventually cover 120 hectares and, once complete, is designed to position the Sultanate as a logistics gateway for the Gulf and Middle East region

The country’s main hub is the Sohar Port and Freezone located 220km northwest of Oman’s capital Muscat, just outside the Strait of Hormuz.

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