Dubai ports operator DP World has announced plans to develop an economic free zone next to the port of Berbera it operates in Somaliland.
Berbera Free Zone (BFZ) will be based on the same model behind DP World’s Jebel Ali Free Zone in its home market.
It aims to attract investment, encourage trade, create jobs and make Berbera the gateway port for the region.
The zone will be developed in phases with the first encompassing 4.0 square kilometres of land out of the 12.2 square kilometres set aside for the project.
Each new phase will start once the previous one receives 85 per cent occupancy, with tenants expected to include warehousing, logistics, trade, manufacturing and other businesses.
DP World said the project capital investment required for the project would be detailed in a concept plan.
Other details will be finalised after Somaliland’s elections on November 13.
“We are excited by Somaliland’s development opportunities which has parallels with the start of our own growth in Dubai and the UAE,” said DP World Group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.
“Our vision is to make Berbera a trading and transportation hub for the Horn of Africa and we look forward to achieving this together.”
The company said it had seen a 40 per cent increase in container volumes at the sport in September 2017 compare to the same period in 2016.
It is also expanding the port operation including a 400m container terminal.
Dubai’s P&O Ports also won a 30-year concession to manage a port in Somalia’s Puntland in April.
DP World saw a 13.5 per cent increase in third-quarter gross container volumes.