SOHAR Port and Freezone headed to Brazil this week, the world’s seventh largest economy, to participate in Intermodal South America. Almost 50,000 professionals from the logistics, cargo and foreign trade industries gathered in Sao Paulo for the three-day event, the largest event of its kind in Latin America.
As part of World Port Network, SOHAR shared a stand in the Transamerica Expo Centre with its Brazilian partner Porto Central, and with its joint venture partner in Oman, Port of Rotterdam. SOHAR was there to promote the new Food Zone, a dedicated agro terminal in the Port with planned facilities for sugar, rice and grain processing.
Thanks to ample space for downstream food industries and logistics, as well as abundant supplies of energy and raw materials for packaging, SOHAR offers an ideal hub for Brazilian food exporters targeting growing markets currently opening up in Iran and Saudi Arabia. Taken together, these two countries offer a combined population of over 110 million people, with annual food imports worth around $40 billion.
SOHAR is no stranger to Brazilian industrial success stories; in 2012, Vale, the Brazilian mining giant, opened its $2 billion iron ore pelletizing plant in the Port and has since imported close to 45 million tons of ore for processing.
As Oman looks to become a major logistics hub for the Middle East, Intermodal was the perfect occasion to meet some of Latin America’s main exporters. South America remains one of the fastest growing regions for the logistics, cargo and foreign trade industries worldwide, with Brazil alone accounting for more than $350 billion worth of logistics revenue, a figure that has more than doubled over the last decade.
Andre Toet (pictured), CEO at SOHAR Port said: “Intermodal is a great chance for SOHAR to connect with industry professionals. Nearly 70% of attendees this year are cargo shippers looking for new solutions, and the show will allow us to generate a great number of leads and network with key players in this important market.”
Oman’s logistics sector is projected to grow beyond the $12 billion mark by 2017 as part of Oman’s Vision 2020 programme. This is unsurprising, considering the Sultanate’s prime geographical location, with SOHAR Port and Freezone strategically positioned outside the Strait of Hormuz. Combined with the excellent infrastructure already available and currently under construction, as well as the Sultanate’s stable political climate and excellent relations with Iran, as well as its Gulf State neighbours, these are all ingredients contributing to the continued growth of the logistics industry in Oman.
Mr Toet summed up his ambitions for the new Food Zone when he said: “When talking to Brazilian investors, we say in SOHAR Food Zone they will find ‘The right mix’ — ‘A mistura com jeito’.”