China Eyes Sohar in Maritime Domination Plan


China is to focus its attention on Oman’s Sohar Port and Freezone as it continues to work on its ‘Maritime Silk Road’ initiative which aims to creating firm trading links in the South China Sea.

Its Maritime Silk Road project is designed to 'enhance connectivity and promote mutual development among the countries from the Far East to the Indian Ocean to Africa'.

China’s ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, Yu Fulong, said: “With historical connections via the ancient Maritime Silk Road and deepening relations in the new decade, we are expecting great opportunities in Sohar Port and Freezone to build an even closer network of transport and trade between East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East, which will in turn enable the completion of logistical and industrial chain covering the region.

“Let us pool our wisdom and resources, [and] work together to write a new chapter of the Maritime Silk Road.”

According to the Journal of Commerce, more than US$15 billion has been invested in Sohar so far, and Yu Fulong commented on the developments, saying: “Remarkable development has been achieved in Sohar. It has become the largest and most important port of the Sultanate.”

Yu Fulong added: “The undergoing Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) railway system and new roads to Riyadh will boost Sohar’s hinterland connectivity to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, raising its profile as a competitive gateway into the GCC, as well as to the rest of the world.”

The expanded facilities at Sohar are designed to increase transhipment cargo and serve larger vessels, as well as attract Omani cargo which is currently served by neighbouring ports.

(Source: Port Strategy)

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