Muscat: Oman’s strategy of becoming one of the world’s leading logistical centres by 2040 received a major boost with the formation of Asyad, an umbrella organisation that will oversee the Sultanate’s transformation into a hub and chart out the nation’s logistics framework.
A re-branding of the Oman Global Logistics (OGL) Group, Asyad is a partnership between a host of companies in the nation, including Oman Post, Mwasalat, Port of Duqm, Port of Salalah, Oman Drydock and Sohar Free Zone, among others.
“We need a systematic and scientific way to ensure that the logistical setup in Oman remains sustainable, and we expect this transition to take about two years,” said Abdulrahman Al Hattmi, CEO of Asyad. “In the first six months of this transition, we have already saved OMR7 million through our strategy, but our plan is not just to save money,” he added.
The company seeks to develop spaces for logistical warehouses, in addition to earmarking areas for the setting up of light industries.
“It is important for us to be sustainable and ensure that Omani shipping and logistics uses the best technology and practices,” Al Hattmi said.
“Currently, 90 per cent of our revenue comes through shipping and handling, and this is very unsustainable,” he noted. “We want to streamline our logistics and shipping, so that it accounts for about 50 per cent of all our revenue.” The Sultanate enjoys several competitive advantages, including its strategic location, for distributing goods to the Indian Subcontinent and North African countries.
The Oman government has made huge investments in the construction of modern roads, ports, airports, free zones and industrial estates, to maximise the benefit of its unique location.
Incentives were also provided to improve logistic services, as well as to raise the Sultanate’s ability to attract foreign investment.
The National Logistic Strategy 2040 also aims at increasing the contribution of logistics services to the nation’s gross domestic product, which is expected to reach OMR14 billion in 2040, in addition to creating 300,000 jobs in the sector.
The company further seeks to make the Sultanate a logistics hub by developing the domestic market, assisting businesses, adopting modern technologies and developing human capital. To achieve these aims, the group will revise all logistic processes activities, modernise export and import procedures and enhance the use of the best international practices.
Another major initiative is the development of shipping services through Oman Shipping Company, Oman Rail and Oman Drydock Company — one of the largest and most advanced ship repair facilities in the Middle East.
“Many people will be concerned about our plans, but they must understand that this globalisation plan of ours is not just a dream, but a challenge,” Al Hattmi added.
“Together, we can transform Oman’s logistics network and become one of the 10 best companies in the world,” he said.