On November 22nd, the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) hosted The State of Logistics in Oman, Past, Present, and Future, sponsored by the Port of Salalah, at the Grand Hyatt Muscat. The event included a panel discussion, moderated by OABC Board Member, Shayan Sumar, and featured panelists Sunil Joseph, CCO, Port of Salalah, Omaima Bahajaj, Marketing and Communication Manager, Salalah Free Zone, and Aisha Al Saifi, Director Market Intelligence at ASYAD Group. During the discussion, the panelists talked about significant changes in Oman’s logistics sector over the past 5 years and shared their viewpoints of current logistics trends in the Sultanate and the GCC region, and their expectations of what may occur within the sector in the years ahead.
The panel discussion included three themes: the global shipping crisis and its impact on Omani businesses, Oman’s Vision 2040, and opportunities in the Omani logistics sector.
Panelists touched on crucial topics such as fostering further utilization of the Free Trade Agreement between Oman and the U.S, various services that Port of Salalah now offers such as sea air cargo solutions and Flexhub, as well as Salalah’s value proposition, focused on a strong integrated ecosystem.
A big part of the Salalah Value proposition is the collaborative efforts of Port of Salalah, the Free Zone, ASYAD, Salalah International Airport, and various government entities to work collectively towards highlighting Salalah as a hub to attract foreign investment to the country. To improve the ease of doing business, these entities have worked hard in recent years to provide a one-stop-shop solution.
Towards the conclusion of the panel discussion, the floor was opened to attendees for a Q&A session. Many eagerly asked engaging questions that were relevant to various sectors in Oman and private sector members found it highly beneficial to have direct discussion with government stakeholders to analyze logistics challenges and suggest solutions.
“We’ve received incredible feedback following this event,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “Attendees were extremely grateful for the opportunity for both the private and public sector to have in-depth discussion about the sector’s goals, Oman’s Vision 2040, past obstacles, and ideas for the way forward. The main takeaway mentioned repeatedly that we need more opportunities for key conversations like this. All of these business leaders want the same thing — an incredible but possible goal — which is to make Oman, with its unique location in the region, a world leader in logistics.
“Salalah sits on the crossroads of USD 2.5tn global trade flows, with all key regional markets accessible within a week of sailing. This is turn offers the Sultanate the opportunity to develop its logistics footprint. Unlocking Salalah’s full potential could lead to contribution of ~$9 bn to Oman´s total GDP, along with 70,000 jobs added in Dhofar,” stated Sunil Joseph, CCO of Port of Salalah during the panel discussion.
“The event was extremely useful and much needed: it was a very important time for the private sector to sit down with government stakeholders and decision-makers to discuss logistics challenges and how to work together on solutions. OABC did an excellent job facilitating today’s event: we need to see more of these types of discussion focused sessions to connect leaders within Oman’s key sectors.” — Yousuf Al Balushi, Smart Investment Gateway.
The Port of Salalah, the Salalah Free Zone and ASYAD continue to actively contribute to Oman’s Vision 2040, and each support Oman’s economic diversification strategy.
Strategically located on the trade crossroads between Asia and Europe and serving the markets of East Africa, the Red Sea, the Indian Subcontinent and the Arabian Gulf – the Port of Salalah is operated by APM Terminals as part of the APM Terminals global terminal network. The port operates both a container terminal and a general cargo terminal.