Muscat – The Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) is seeking to make Salalah Free Zone (SFZ) a centre for pharmaceutical industries due to the zone’s supportive infrastructure and advantage of its geographical location.
OPAZ has formed a team representing a number of concerned authorities to study the possibility of hosting and developing pharmaceutical industries in the Salalah Free Zone.
The team comprises specialists from OPAZ, Ministry of Health, Oman Investment Authority and Salalah Free Zone.
‘Forming the team comes in light of the increasing interest in the pharmaceutical industries worldwide, especially post the spread of COVID-19 pandemic,’ OPAZ stated.
The authority added that the plan is to attract local and international corporates to invest in this sector and expedite the associated procedures.
‘OPAZ is seeking to make Salalah Free Zone a centre for pharmaceutical industries due to the zone’s supportive infrastructure, in addition to its geographical location on the route of international lines as well as the flexibility of import and export through the Port of Salalah.’
The authority listed a host of factors that make Salalah a potential investment hub for the pharmaceutical industry. It said that the city has greater access with shorter transit times to major global destinations, leading to lower cost and higher efficiency. ‘Free trade agreements with major economies such as the US, European Union countries and others, in addition to land connectivity with Yemen and the GCC markets are further incentives.’
Salalah has proximity to markets with a high population density that have a shortfall of medicines and medical supplies, as well as the zone’s geographical proximity to East African markets helps in access to newer markets. The city provides excellent supply chain infrastructure and sufficient capacity for sea, air and land transportation. ‘Low storage cost due to the low annual average temperature of 24C, results in less electricity consumption. Adequate land and storage facilities are capable of controlling temperature to suit medicinal products and medicines.’