MUSCAT: Oman’s government has signed to obtain 81 million Omani rials ($210 million) of financing from Saudi Arabia for one of its key industrial projects, in a deal that could help to ease concern about the health of the sultanate’s finances. The money will come from the Saudi Fund for Development, a state agency, to support work at Duqm, where Oman is building a multi-billion-dollar industrial zone on its southern coast, the official Oman News Agency (ONA) said.
The 81 million rials of aid for Duqm is part of the $10 billion regional program, ONA said without giving financial details. Twenty million rials will go towards building a road and 61 million rials towards developing Duqm’s fishing harbor. According to Al Arabiya, Oman plans to make Duqm a major center for its fishing and fish processing industries, in addition to building an oil refinery, a petrochemical complex and a wide range of manufacturing facilities in the zone. ONA quoted Yousef bin Ibrahim al-Bassam, managing director of the Saudi fund, as saying it had also allocated $150 million to finance the growth of smaller companies in Oman.