A team of Freezone Sohar officials visited India recently for meetings with potential investors.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Neelima Vyas, chief operating officer of Freezone Sohar, said, “We are very buoyant about India. India is a growing economy and investors are looking out for potential investment opportunities. Our aim is to double investments from India in the coming two years.”
She said the freezone continues to attract interest for the ferrochrome industry, but now wants to look at investments in other areas such as logistics, metals and light manufacturing from India.
“We are in discussions and our aim is to increase total investment to around US$250mn in the next two years,” Neelima said.
She said the freezone hopes to sign land-lease deals for 80 hectares in 2013 and more agreements in the near future.
“We have a target to lease out 80 hectares. GCC and India are the major markets. We are also conducting road shows in the Far East,” she added.
By the end of 2012, Freezone Sohar had signed land-lease agreements for an accumulated 150 hectares. The ongoing first phase of development of the freezone involves 500 hectares, of which around 380 hectares are leasable. The hub has already signed deals for around 50 per cent of land of the first phase.
The freezone anticipates that by 2016-17 the first phase will be fully occupied, depending on the global market scenario. Indian companies already have a significant presence in Sohar, while many others are looking to set up operations.