According to Hilal bin Hamad al Hasani, chief executive officer of the Public Establishment for Industrial Estate (PEIE), the first half of 2016 witnessed higher growth rates in various fields as total investment in the country’s industrial estates crossed RO6bn.
In a statement on the eve of the sultanate’s Industry Day, Hasani said the number of projects in the various industrial estates has reached 1,688, of which 277 projects are under construction and 349 projects have been allotted lands.
“It is expected that a large portion of these projects will initiate their operational processes in the coming period,” he said.
During the first half of 2016, PEIE was able to attract investments valued at RO228mn in the various industrial estates.
By the end of the first half of 2016, PEIE provided more than 46,000 job opportunities in the existing and new projects, of which 17,000 involved Omani employees. Moreover, the total leased area in the various industrial estates pertaining to PEIE touched 33.2mn sqm during the first half of 2016, the statement said on Wednesday.
Hasani emphasised that Industry Day this year coincides with PEIE’s completion of the projects under the regulations of the Royal Decree No 32/2015. “PEIE’s tender regulations were published in the official gazette in the beginning of this year. This shall give PEIE the flexibility in providing services in its industrial estates in accordance with best management practices.”
He confirmed that the regulations have been reviewed and are expected to be published during the first half of 2017. The regulations will offer a new set of features and facilities that will attract local and foreign investments, based on the Royal Decree.
Hasani noted that PEIE aims at implementing a number of vital projects in line with its strategy and vision.
“A master plan has been prepared for the Sohar Industrial Estate taking into account the current seven phases and the surrounding developments. The master plan covers both basic infrastructure and social welfare such as housing, recreational and commercial facilities, which are required to support the industrial activities,” Hasani said.
The first phase of this master plan involves an analysis of the estate’s current status, an analysis of the current seven phases, an analysis of the usage of lands and infrastructure, among other aspects. The second phase involves preparation of an integrated master plan, determining the industrial sectors and taking into account the usage of lands for each sector, and providing and developing the required infrastructure for each sector while considering the recommendations for potential future expansion areas. The third phase focuses on preparing a detailed plan to develop facilities and services.
There is also a study to push the pace of development and assess the viability to localise industrial investments at Sur Industrial Estate. The study also looks at identifying the major investment sectors and the essential infrastructure to mark the estate as an attractive investment destination.