06 July 2023
In Its second meeting for the year 2023 OPAZ Board of Directors values the Royal Decree establishing Khazaen Economic City
In Its second meeting for the year 2023
OPAZ Board of Directors values the Royal Decree establishing Khazaen Economic City
Muscat - 05 July 2023
The Board of Directors of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) held today (July 5, 2023) its second meeting for the year 2023, chaired by H.E Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Chairman of the Board, at the Authority’s headquarters in Muscat. During the meeting, the Board valued the Royal Decree No. (44/2023) establishing Khazaen Economic City, which will be overseen by OPAZ.
The Board stressed that the City will serve enhancing the business environment and creating new investment opportunities in Al Batinah South Governorate, along with other economic zones, free zones, and the existing and under construction industrial cities in the various governorates.
During the meeting, the Board touched on the current progress of the masterplans of the Economic Zone in Al Rowdah in the Wilayat of Mahdah in Al Buraimi Governorate. In this regard, the Board discussed the protection alternatives from potential flood risks, in addition to highlighting the opportunities for direct connection between the Zone and the roads leading to the ports of Sohar and Shinas. The Board was briefed on the existing coordination, through the Omani-Saudi joint Executive Committee, on the project for the Integrated Economic Zone in Al Dhahirah Governorate. In addition, the meeting included discussing the linking locations with the road leading to the Empty Quarter boarders. Furthermore, the Board approved the incentives for the usufruct agreement and stressed continuing the cooperation with the governors’ offices in the two zones.
With regards to the free zone project at Muscat International Airport, OPAZ Board of Directors approved extending the concession agreement for the operating company (ASYAD) for a period of 50 years renewable, in addition to the other advantages of the agreement.
On the other hand, the Board commended the progressive results achieved by the various departments of OPAZ in the field of automating procedures and digital transformation in line with the government evaluation system for digital transformation, and highly-prised the steps taken to combat the use of paper transactions within and outside OPAZ by none sending and receiving paper documents except of correspondences of a special nature, starting from July 1st.
OPAZ Board of Directors was familiarised with the initial results of using artificial intelligence technologies and introducing employees’ qualification programmes. Hence, the Board directed to increase adopting new technologies and providing more spatial information to investors, artificial intelligence techniques and business intelligence in line with converting electronic basic environment systems to locally approved cloud platforms, and continue enhancing and updating information security software and systems.
Moreover, the Board was also briefed on the future programmes aimed at improving and speeding up the transactions between the economic zones, free zones and industrial cities, including the central services portal and the system for managing shipments and goods between the zones affiliated with OPAZ, in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology and the Royal Oman Police.
It is worth mentioning that the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones was established by Royal Decree No. (105/2020) on August 18, 2020. It oversees 14 economic zones, free zones, and industrial cities. It also supervises the establishment of a group of new economic zones, free zones, and industrial cities.