Oman plans free trade zone on Strait of Hormuz



Oman plans to build a free trade zone near the Strait of Hormuz as part of efforts to diversify its economy away from oil, an economy ministry official said on Monday.

The zone is expected to be built next to the Khasab port on the Musandam peninsula overlooking the strategic waterway, through which key oil shipping lanes pass.

Oman Daily Observer said last week that a joint venture led by Port Services Corporation, which it said had won an initial government approval to run Khasab port, was considering the development of the free zone.

"Free zones will play a big part in the Omani economy to diversify away from oil income and pull in more foreign investors," the ministry official, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.

The sultanate is also developing other free zones in Sohar and Salalah. (Reuters)