Port operator says Berbera Free Zone will be spread across more than 12 sq km
Dubai-based DP World announced on Monday that it will develop a greenfield economic free zone in Somaliland to complement the development of the Port of Berbera.
DP World Group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem and Republic of Somaliland Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr Saad Ali Shire have signed an agreement for the Berbera Free Zone (BFZ).
The development is based on DP World’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) in Dubai and aims to attract investments, encourage trade, create new jobs and position Berbera as a gateway port for the region, a statement said.
Under the terms of the agreement, DP World will develop BFZ in phases, with the first phase focusing on 4 square kilometres of land out of the 12.2 square kilometres earmarked for the project.
Future phases will be detailed in a concept plan together with the projected capital investment required from DP World for its development.
Each phase of the BFZ will start once the previous phase has achieved 85 percent occupancy, the statement said, adding that it will target a wide range of businesses including warehousing, logistics, traders, manufacturers and other related businesses.
Further details of the BFZ will be concluded with Somaliland’s new government after the country’s elections scheduled next week.
Bin Sulayem said: “We are excited by Somaliland’s development opportunities which has parallels with the start of our own growth in Dubai and the UAE.
“We look forward to finalising the details of the Berbera Free Zone with the next government of Somaliland and look forward to our continued partnership.”
The new facility will build on DP World’s existing operations at the Port of Berbera where it has achieved substantial production gains in recent months. In September, the port recorded the highest container volumes in its history with a 40 percent increase compared to September 2016.