The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE), in cooperation with Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), Al Buraimi, organised an open meeting between Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, chief executive officer of PEIE, and investors and industrialists in the Al Buraimi Governorate on Monday.
Speaking at the event, Zahir bin Mohamed Al Kaabi, head of OCCI’s branch in Al Buraimi, emphasised that the industrial sector represented the main pillar of the economy and was at the forefront of economic activities with high productivity returns.
“We at the OCCI focus on our constant meetings with government officials to look into solutions that meet the challenges facing the private sector. We aim at contributing to the development of the economic sector and we hope that this meeting will present the opportunity to address many of the challenges facing industrialists,” Al Kaabi remarked.
Al Hasani said the industrial march in the Sultanate began with the establishment of Rusayl Industrial Estate in 1983. The PEIE was established in 1993 to ensure continued development of the industrial sector throughout the Sultanate’s governorates. Today, PEIE is responsible for developing and managing seven prime industrial estates—Sur, Sohar, Raysut, Nizwa, Al Buraimi, Al Rusayl, Sumail and Al Mazunah Free Zone—in addition to the Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM).
Based on this approach, PEIE has adopted a programme to strengthen partnership with the private sector in the areas of constructing, managing, and operating the industrial estates and the economic areas pertaining to PEIE.
This programme consists of three main pillars. The first pillar is related to attracting major developers to all new industrial estates. PEIE would not invest directly in the development operations. The second pillar is related to opening the way for the private sector to work under the umbrella of PEIE, as owners and developers of economic areas, through a variety of investment activities.
Finally, the third pillar of the programme is related to the establishment of a holding company owned by PEIE to develop and manage the existing industrial estates.
“Al Buraimi Industrial Estate, similar to other estates that fall under the umbrella of PEIE, is receiving a great deal of attention from the Sultanate’s government. There is continuous effort to develop and increase the efficiency of Al Buraimi Industrial Estate. Some OMR5 million has been allocated in 2018 to develop the current area in the estate,” Al Hasani said.
Delivering a presentation on the estate, Eng. Abdullah Al Mayasi, director general of Al Buraimi Industrial Estate, said the estate has undertaken efforts to facilitate flexibility of dealing with investors in 2017.
He added that the estate has achieved its goal of signing 45 contracts in 2017. While 10 contracts were signed during the first half of 2017, five were signed during the second half. The total area of investment in the estate has touched 2,007,111sq.m, while the total investment volume has exceeded OMR218 million. The total number of workforce at Al Buraimi Industrial Estate has touched 1,860.
In the coming period, the estate will allocate an area of 75,000sq.m. for construction of an integrated residential area for the estate’s workforce, and an area of 300,000sq.m. will be allocated for industrial workshops and stores.
More projects include improvements in the rainwater drainage system, electronic monitoring system with surveillance cameras, and establishment of a sewage network and sewage treatment plant.
Al Mayasi said the PEIE offers a line-up of value adding initiatives for business owners and investors in the industrial estates. These initiatives comprise the National Business Centre, the national campaign of promoting Omani products – Origin Oman, Communication and Investor Service Centre, and Industrial Innovation Centre, which has recently been transformed into a company. He added that PEIE also pays attention to human resources development and has been organising a series of courses, programmes, seminars, and workshops for the national cadres in industrial estates since 2011.
Meanwhile, an open discussion session was held between the CEO of PEIE and investors and industrialists in Al Buraimi to identify challenges facing the business environment in the Governorate. The session discussed the mechanisms and solutions that contribute to continued growth of the industrial sector in the Sultanate in general and Al Buraimi in particular. The meeting came out with a number of recommendations and ideas that will be developed into an integrated vision to be studied for application, possibly in the coming period.