For the last couple of decades, Oman has been working relentlessly toward reducing its overdependence on oil and diversifying its economy. While the government has invested heavily in several industries to achieve this goal, the logistics industry has emerged as one of the strongest driving forces in taking things forward. It has greatly helped the nation in gaining inward investment and increasing non-oil exports and competitiveness in the global market. Growing at a CAGR of 7 percent till recently, the logistics sector in Oman is expected to continue growing at a similar rate with the government’s plan to further strengthen its infrastructure of ports, free zones, industrial estates, roads, airports, and rail network.
All of this, in addition to increased efforts toward economic diversification and business with other GCC countries, is expected to help the logistics industry witness a meteoric rise. In exciting times like these, the logistics companies in Oman and shipping companies in Oman have played a crucial role in taking the efforts made by the government further. Their efficient operations, adoption of modern technology, increasing their functioning power, and working towards the national cause have impacted the overall growth of the industry positively. But what has catapulted the logistics industry in Oman to greater heights is its strategic geographical location, a benefit that sets its apart from the rest of the GCC countries in terms of global trade.
A geographical location that sets Oman apart
Oman is comfortably located on the strategic axis of the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf, giving it easy access routes and quick transit time to some of the world’s most attractive and emerging markets. When it comes to connections, it is one of the most important shipping routes and is located at a two weeks distance from most major ports. With direct trade routes to emerging markets like India and Africa, the world is fast realizing its supremacy in the region. That time isn’t far away when Oman will become a global logistics hub and will rule the regional global logistics transportation map. The seedlings of this change are already visible with the way it is trading in the current scenario.
Oman’s infrastructural development story has a lot to do with the way it has emerged as a logistics hub in the region. It has three world-class deep water seaports, five airports that have been developed with state-of-the-art technology, and an enviable road network. These supporting infrastructural support systems ensure that all logistics related movements run smoothly. This apart, Oman also boasts of abundant and rich access to energy, natural resources, financing, and local labor. With an estimated trade of US$100 billion with the neighboring GCC countries, Oman’s success story is sure to hit the stars.
If the location means anything in Oman becoming the global logistics hub, the country has all the aces up its sleeves. It plays a key role in facilitating trade connectivity in the GCC region through its FTA with the US and being part of the Ishqabad corridor. Not just that, it is also part of the European Free Trade Association-GCC, Singapore-GCC and newer FTA negotiations have been going on with the European Union, China, Australia, and New Zealand. Looking at all these opportunities, the government has developed the Sultanate of Oman Logistics Strategy 2040, a program that will escalate the contribution of the logistics industry to Oman’s GDP.
This program looks at the market share of all the goods that flow into the region, employment growth instigated by the industry, Oman’s position on different logistics and industrial indices, and the world’s perception of Oman as the logistics giant. All these factors will be closely monitored to ensure that the logistic industry grows in the right direction, at the right pace.
The ports in Oman are currently connected with 86 ports across 40 countries. The location of the port town of Duqm, Oman’s flagship project is halfway between Muscat and Salalah on the Indian Ocean. This port is being aggressively developed into a business hub with several plans in the offing. Not only are different industries being developed around it, but it will also facilitate the transportation of various crucial goods across the globe in a capacity that has never been achieved in Oman. Such increased potential and development are sure to position Oman as a key logistics hub across the globe.
While the location of the country provides easy access and connectivity to the fastest growing markets in Asia and Africa, its connectivity with the US and reliable ties with the EU are also important factors in making Oman a force to reckon with when it comes to logistics. This is surely amazing news for all national logistics companies and shipping companies. They can ride the tide and become major contributors toward the national dream of not only becoming a logistics powerhouse but also making the economy more diverse and independent of oil.
With such herculean projects and developmental plans underway, Oman’s rise as a global logistics hub is a fact that nobody can negate. With the government making all the right decisions and pumping money for the growth of several industries, the future looks bright for the logistics industry as well as Oman – the emerging global hub of logistics.