South Africa in the Free Zone

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The visit to Oman of the President of South Africa, Dr Jacob Zuma, is part of a long and well orchestrated process designed to bring the two nations together in friendship, trade and tourism. The links being strengthened are the result of lengthy contacts and negotiations, which started with the establishment of a South African Embassy in the Sultanate. Oman was fortunate in South Africa’s choice and the South African diplomatic team went about the task of establishing closer ties between the two nations with zeal and enthusiasm.

The visit of the South African President this week is thus putting the seal on a friendship now well established and given the maritime links of both nations it is fitting that the South Africans are putting much energy in establishing links with the ever growing Port of Sohar and it’s free zone. Much work has been done at a diplomatic and commercial level to organise a very substantial investment in Free Zone Sohar, which is now clearly going to bear fruit.

Private industry interests both in South Africa and Oman have been working on plans to build a vast cold storage facility in the Free Zone for the storage of fresh produce, which will allow fresh products from South Africa to be exported to the whole region. When the facility is completed it will mean that Oman will no longer have to import South African fresh fruit from Dubai. Instead Oman will be exporting South African fruit and fresh products.

The link will be with Johannesburg Market, a wholly owned entity of the city of Johannesburg Municipality, which deals in over 1 million tonnes of fresh produce every year, making it the largest market of this type in the world in terms of volume.

This however is just one example of close co-operation. There are many more. As South Africa’s current Ambassador to the Sultanate, Yusuf Saloojee pointed out the recently signed Partnership Forum Agreement signed by the two nations allows for co-operation in the fields of education, science, technology and agriculture. Part of the visit too is a forum at the Al Bustan Hotel where prominent Omani and South African business representatives are meeting today.

There is also scope for tourism development, especially if direct flights can be established. With South Africa concentrating these days on increasing links through the Brics group of nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) it is becoming increasingly important commercially, politically and diplomatically. Oman has a powerful friend.

via Welcome South Africa | Oman Observer

South Africa to operate in Oman Free Zone

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PRETORIA — An agreement was signed at the Sultanate’s Embassy here to lease a plot of land at Sohar Free Zone to set up a food processing unit to exchange food products between the Sultanate and South Africa.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Khalid bin Sulaiman Ba’omar, Sultanate’s Ambassador to South Africa, representatives from Sohar Port at the free zone, Al Noor Company from the Sultanate, GWK company and Riospin company from South Africa.

The Sohar unit will import fresh food from South Africa, including meat, fish, diary products, fruit and vegetables.

The ambassador affirmed that such projects will develop and boost trade relations between the Sultanate and South Africa.

It will also increase the level of trade exchange, as Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market, which is supervising the project, will receive exports from the Sultanate to re-export them in South African markets.

Last month, during an official session of Oman-South Africa talks the bilateral co-operation between the two countries in tourism and means of promoting the joint co-operation between the Omani tourism companies and their South African counterparts to attract the European tourists heading for South Africa to spend some days in the Sultanate were discussed.

The two sides also discussed enhancing the economic and trade co-operation particularly in the investment field, as well as activating the MoUs and agreements signed between the two countries.


via Sultanate, S Africa set up food unit | Oman Observer