Oman Sea: Top Commercial Hub of Future

The Oman Sea is forecast to be the commercial hub of the future and the point where important global trade corridors and major sea and land transportation routes come together.

This extraordinary fact, the reasons for which will be given, has prompted Karim Investment Company to expand and develop its logistics and transportation fleet focused on and in accordance with the conditions existing in the region. The research and development team of KIC along with the members of its BoD who are based in Muscat (Oman), have seized a golden opportunity to expand their activities in the field of maritime logistics and transportation & export of energy. Such efforts will take place synchronous with the Expansionary Economic Development Plan of the government of Oman.

The reason the Oman Sea will be a key transport and trade hub in the near future

To answer this all-important question, we will now introduce the global transportation routes and creation of new economic corridors.

First, the Oman sea will be a key strategic route for China’s mega project known as the “Belt And Road initiative”.

Belt and Road Initiative

In 2013, the Chinese unveiled the above mega project with their intention to create a vast network of sea and land routes to connect more than 90 Asian, European and African countries. The mega project land routes start from China and after passing through Central Asia and Northern Iran are divided into three branches, heading towards Russia, Turkey and North Africa. The sea routes start from the coast of the South China Sea and after passing through the Strait of Malacca and the Indian Ocean will reach its main belt, which is the Oman Sea and the Western coast of the Indian Ocean. The coastal waters and ports of the three countries of Pakistan, Iran and Oman will be the major land and sea points of contact. 

The key ports on the Northern and Southern coasts of the Oman Sea (Gwadar and Karachi in Pakistan, Sohar and Duqm in Oman, and Chabahar and Bandar Abbas in Iran) are among the most significant. In order to connect the maritime belt to the land route, nationwide railway lines are planned that will connect the Northern ports of the Oman Sea to the main route that passes through Northern Iran.

Also, the ports of Muscat and Doqm in Oman, in addition to connecting to the Northern ports of Pakistan and Iran, will be extraordinarily adjoined to East Africa and the Bab Al-Mandab Strait to connect to sea routes passing through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. In this way, the Oman Sea will be considered as the central hub of marine transportation and the key connection to the land route and the sea belt. 

In addition, it should be mentioned that the CPEC highway, which connects China to Pakistan through the Himalayas and the ports of Gwadar and Karachi is in a way complementary to the “One Road, One Belt” project and will increase the importance of the Oman Sea.

But the future of the Oman Sea is not only dependent on this project, and ‘second and third’ projects are also on the agenda by major players, which makes this region unrivaled in terms of international trade.

The second project is related to the creation of a North-South Corridor that connects Russia and Europe to India through Iran and the Oman Sea. This will be one of the most ambitious transportation routes on the globe, which connects the port of Mumbai in India to the port of Chabahar in the North of the Oman Sea and will be connected to Russia and Europe by rail, passing through Iran and the Caucasus region. The route, which is considered as a serious competitor for the traditional routes connecting East and West (Red Sea-Suez Canal-Mediterranean Sea), will reduce transportation time and costs by 30% and 25 days. 

So, with the integration and connection of transportation routes in the two above-mentioned projects, the importance of the Oman Sea and the necessity of investing in this region, especially in sea and land transportation, becomes very clear. Companies with greater transportation potential, who can provide for the essential demands of these future routes, will have a privileged status for trade and export as well as interaction with larger global companies.

But this issue is still in the works and a third project is planned to turn the Oman Sea into an unprecedented region for investment and development, a route that will connect Central Asia and landlocked countries to the Oman Sea and open waters through Afghanistan and Iran. This route is considered as a parallel belt to the North-South corridor. Instead of Russia and Europe, this new railway route connects Central Asia and countries such as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan to Iran’s Chabahar port located in the North of the Oman Sea.

Undoubtedly, with the completion, launch and opening of these three important trade routes, the Oman Sea will become one of the busiest oceans in the world, and the coastal ports of this sea, belonging to Iran, Pakistan and Oman, will become thriving hubs of commerce and trade. Thus, by reason of necessity, investment, long-term plans to develop the marine and land transport fleets as well as multilateral trade and cooperation in the region will be developed extensively. 

For this reason Karim Investment Company, aware of the emerging situation, has taken great steps to prepare for the changes. The headquarters of the company, based in Muscat, has established representative offices in Karachi (Pakistan) and Chabahar (Iran). In addition, the company has made great efforts to connect with and access Europe, taking into account the “One Belt Road” and “North-South Corridor” projects. The establishment of the corporate representative offices in the Morsi port of Turkey and Rotterdam are just one of our ambitious measures to become one of the largest transport and export companies in the Middle East.

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