Muscat: The boss of Sohar Port and Freezone has made a pitch to attract more food shipments through his terminals.
CEO Andre Toet has said that Sohar can become an important conduit through which food manufacturers can reach booming Middle East markets at a fraction of the current cost.
“Growing populations and a 90% dependence on food imports is a perfect recipe for growth; the value of regional food markets will hit $53bn in 2020. This offers great returns for the industry, but it is also increasing the region’s food bill. Part of the challenge is operating costs in big cities, and our aim is to harness our location, connectivity, and rates to cut the cost of putting food on tables,” explained Toet.
“On top of not having to pay the additional costs of passing through the Strait of Hormuz, land and energy rates at Sohar are very competitive when compared with other ports and distribution centres across the region. Oman’s Free Trade Agreements with the US and Singapore also offer potential costs savings that are not so readily available in some other parts of the region, especially its FTA with the US,” he continued. [05/02/15]