The foundation stone for a new dry port project, named ‘Sasco’ was laid at Al Mazyunah Free Zone yesterday under the auspices of Shaikh Abdullah bin Aqeel al Ibrahim, acting Deputy Governor of Dhofar.
The ceremony was held in the presence of Sheikh Amer bin Salim Kashoob, Wali of Al Mazyunah, Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE), and a number of government officials, business owners and investors.
Speaking at the event, Salah Al Alawi, acting director general of Al Mazyunah Free Zone, said, “Growth was marked in the number of projects in the free zone; from 33 projects in 2012 to 115 projects in 2016. Besides, the volume of incoming goods has also witnessed growth from 10 tonnes in 2012 to more than 28,000 tonnes in 2016. Moreover, the number of incoming vehicles has touched 15,320 in 2016 compared to 2,455 in 2012.”
He added that such indicators come as a result of the free zone’s strategic location on the border of Oman and Yemen, making it the Gulf gateway for transit trade to Yemen and Eastern Africa.
To enhance the opportunities in Al Mazyunah Free Zone, which falls under the umbrella of PEIE, the government has developed a package of incentives and facilities to encourage investors and facilitate investment process.
These incentives include exemption of profits from income tax and unrequired provision of income declaration, permit to import all eligible goods into the zone, exemption from the requirement of a minimum investment, and allowing the Yemeni manpower to work in the free zone without visas, among other incentives.
Al Alawi emphasised that the dry port project will certainly represent an added value for the investment climate in the free zone, stressing on the strategic and easily accessible location of the free zone for the traders. “The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates has always been keen to operate the free zone, equip its facilities and facilitate the movement of people and goods through the various offered incentives,” he pointed out.
Omar Suwaid, Chief Executive Officer of Sasco International for Logistics Services, said that the Sasco represents one of the largest joint ventures serving the two countries Oman and Yemen.
“The project shall offer recruitment opportunities for manpower from the two countries and shall approximately receive around 7000 containers annually from various countries worldwide. The port enjoys rich expertise in the field of shipping and ports. Indeed, the project is a step forward for the free zone to encourage local Yemeni companies to ship their projects to the free zone and offer job opportunities for the Omanis and Yemenis,” Suwaid said.