Panalpina has announced that it is opening a new office in Muscat, Oman, by the end of Q3 2019. Panalpina’s operations in Oman were previously handled by an agent. After completing the registration of Panalpina Oman with a minority shareholding partner, the Daoud Group, a family-owned Omani business conglomerate. Panalpina Oman will now cover core activities such as Air Freight, Ocean Freight and customs clearance.
Panalpina aims to leverage the company’s long-standing experience in project solutions and the energy sector to support the country’s burgeoning economic and infrastructural growth. Back in 2016, Panalpina shipped 62km of pipeline from China to Oman for an oil and gas customer.
Oman has become almost synonymous with the oil and gas sector, which has driven its economy since commercial production began in the late 1960’s. It produces about 900,000 barrels of oil per day, which account for about four-fifths of government revenue. While oil and gas dominate exports, Oman also derives earnings from the export of dates and from tourism. Its major imports include motor vehicles, technical equipment, computer hardware and software, consumer products, textiles and foodstuffs.
The government is aiming to diversify the economy and is focusing on agriculture, fisheries, tourism, mining, public utilities and manufacturing. Together with a growing number of large infrastructure projects and its transhipment hub for Qatar, Oman is fast becoming a business hotspot within the Middle East region.
Oman also has distinct advantages as a transhipment hub for Qatar, as Charles Francis, Panalpina’s Country Manager for Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, explains: “Oman has become a pivotal geographical location for cargo flows to and from Qatar. Unlike some of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Oman has not introduced economic sanctions and its trade with Qatar has increased by more than three times since the embargo started two years ago.”
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