Over the past year the Chinese have become key to Oman’s effort to transform Duqm, a fishing village 550km (345 miles) south of Muscat, into an industrial centre that will help the country diversify its economy beyond oil and gas exports.
Duqm, which lies on the Arabian Sea, is a potential operating base for Chinese businesses near export markets which they want to develop in the Gulf, the Indian subcontinent and East Africa. Duqm is also close to some of the raw materials which Chinese companies will need for that purpose: the oil and gas resources of the Gulf.
Duqm is marketing its location as a major attraction – not only its proximity to maritime trade routes, but the fact that it lies outside the Strait of Hormuz, which could insulate it from conflict if regional tensions rise.
The zone around Duqm already features a port and a dry dock, and is to include an oil refinery (built partly with Kuwaiti money) and petrochemical plants.
Source Credit: Independent
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