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Sohar Free Zone Agrees Food Cluster

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
17 February, 2015

Oman's Sohar Port and Freezone announced on February 11, 2015, that it has entered into a partnership with Essa Al Ghurair Investment to promote activities related to the food processing sector.

Essa Al Ghurair Investment will lease a 93,000-square-meter plot from Sohar Port and Freezone until July 2043 and will establish the Sohar Food Cluster Company within the zone.

Andre Toet, the CEO of Sohar Port and Freezone, said: "We are delighted to welcome Essa Al Ghurair Investment and its Sohar Food Cluster Company to Sohar. As part of our agreement, Sohar Food Cluster Company will have the option to begin developing, either by themselves or through joint ventures with international companies, services and industries that are linked to production, initially at Sohar Flour Mill." As these activities grow, they are expected to contribute to downstream industries and support the growth of dry bulk cargo volumes, the free zone said.

Essa Bin Abdullah Al Ghurair, Chairman of Essa Al Ghurair Investment, said: "We are thrilled at this partnership, which highlights the growing food demand in a region with a heavy dependence on food imports. With accelerated population growth, this partnership will enhance direct access to Oman and other key export markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as Iran, Pakistan, and East Africa."

Sohar Port was opened in 2002 and the free zone was established in 2010. The business incentives offered by the free zone include 100 percent foreign ownership, exemption from Oman's 12 percent corporate tax for up to 25 years, zero percent import and re-export duties, and zero percent personal income tax. The free zone is currently home to logistics, petrochemical, metals, and automotive clusters that feed downstream industries with iron, steel, plastics, rubber, ceramics, and chemicals, among other materials.

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