Oman Looks to Become a Regional Power in the Logistics and Maritime Industry

By Michael Taylor posted 02-11-2019 03:10 PM

  
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Economic Expansion Underway in Oman

As the Sultanate of Oman begins to diversify its economy under plans for economic expansion, the government is actively committing resources to its logistics sector, as a result of which the ports of Sohar, Salalah, and Duqm and their surrounding free zones have seen major investments in the last few years. The projects aim to turn Oman into a regional logistics and shipping powerhouse, with the Sultanate’s strategic location making it a key player in the global shipping industry.

Once a sleepy fishing village in Oman’s central eastern seaboard, the port town of Duqm hopes to become a major Middle East logistics hub, connecting the Gulf to the world’s busiest maritime trade route. The Duqm Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZAD) project is the largest economic project in the Middle East region and one of the largest in the world. The economic projects underway here represent an investment of several billion dollars.

Conference on Ocean Economy and Future Technology (OEFT)

As a part of its ongoing plans to become a much bigger and more diversified maritime player, Oman is organizing a conference on the Ocean Economy in Muscat, Oman from February 11-13. I was invited by the Omani government to speak on Skills and Competencies in the Ocean Economy panel session on Day Two of the event.

The conference has more than 900 participants and 86 international speakers, delegates, and panelists. Other participants include local and international government officials and regulators, IGOs, NGOs, and various companies. The conference has videos, presentations, panels and sessions focused on all parts of the ocean economy - aquaculture and fisheries, biotechnology, seabed mining, offshore energy, tourism, logistics and transport, monitoring and surveillance, waste management, desalination, etc. and even discussions around investing in the ocean economy. The organizers are providing for B2B matching as well.

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Day One of the Muscat Conference

Day One kicked off with Opening Remarks by H.E. Abdulsalam Al-Murshidi, Executive President of the State General Reserve Fund and a Keynote Address by H.E. Ambassador Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean. Then the program went to panel discussions on Ocean Economy and Science Diplomacy, Ocean Economy and Ocean Sustainable Development, Digital Ocean and Ocean Data, Technology and Innovation, and Investing in the Ocean Economy.

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This OEFT conference thus far is showcasing the immensity of the maritime industry, and conveying a strong sense of excitement regarding the future of the ocean economy and its myriad of possibilities.
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