According to the Minister of Commerce and Industry, H E Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed bin Said al Mardhouf al Saadi, Oman has
witnessed an increasing growth in its economic zones in 2011 with total investment in the industrial estates reaching US$9.4bn.
The government places great importance to the industrial sector, particularly to the industrial zones in the country, as RO100mn have been allotted for expanding as well as improving the infrastructure of industrial estates in the coming phase.
The chairman of the board of directors for the General Establishment of Industrial Estates has stated that in the coming months, it will invest more than RO70mn on the largescale extensions that it plans for various industrial zones ranging between 16mn-20mn sq.m. He further added that these extensions will be able to offer more than 500 plots to investors interested in these industrial estates. In addition to these industrial estates, there are significant plans to establish more free and economic zones in the country.
Investments in the Sohar free zone and Salalah free zone have reached US$3.5bn. The Al Mazyounah free zone which is on the border with Yemen, is considered an excellent opportunity to increase trade with the biggest consumer markets in the location. There are investment prospects in light industries, woodworking and carpentry plants, foodstuff processing units, readymade garments manufacturing, plastics conversion, and maintenance workshops of all kinds. Service sector investments are mainly into transport and distribution services, warehousing and logistics, catering, and documentation services, etc.
The country’s first free zone, Rusayl Industrial Estate is also getting higher importance as there are plans for expanding its capacity.
The General Establishment for Industrial Zones has built a long-term strategy for the 2011-2025 in an effort to increase the 133mn sq.m of
land suited for all kinds of investment opportunities.
Speaking about the Samail Industrial Estate, H E Saadi stated that the zone has generated increased interest from investors with more than 130 projects approved and RO30mn allocated for the development of the area. Around 75% of the 8mn sq.m site was made available to investors in January this year.