Oman’s SOHAR Port and Freezone is seeking ways to bolster economic ties with Singapore, as it aims to become the gateway to a new trade corridor that will connect Asia, the Gulf, and the US, through Oman, Commercial Executive Edwin Lammers said while speaking at the SCM Logistics and Manufacturing World 2014 event.
“Singapore handles the second largest container throughput in the world, so there is no shortage of volume. With SOHAR growing at 1,000 percent since the first cargo arrived in 2007, our ability to offer a modern, competitive, and customer-orientated route through which to do business with the US is almost unrivalled in the Gulf. We are also not too different in size,” joked Mr. Lammers.
Lower costs generated by container volumes that are projected to reach 1.5 million TEU, and SOHAR’s ability to provide access to the Gulf from outside the Strait of Hormuz, were highlighted as advantages by Mr. Lammers. Oman’s free trade agreements with the US and Singapore were also viewed as crucial in pursuit of an increased share of US$68 billion in US-Singapore trade.
“Not only are we within touching distance of 3.5 billion consumers, but Oman’s free trade agreements with the US mean we are in great shape to tap into this lucrative market,” Mr. Lammers added.
“We are ready. It is that simple. Many of the world’s biggest shipping companies such as Maersk Line, UASC, CMA, and APL know it, and already operate from our world-class terminals,” he said.
SOHAR has attracted investments totalling US$15 billion, while multi-million dollar deals have seen sustained growth in its petrochemical, automotive, logistics, and metal manufacturing clusters. An agriculture cluster is currently in the pipeline.
Press Release, July 7, 2014