Africa: Berbera Economic Zone opens up along one of the world’s busiest maritime routes
DP World, a logistics company based in Dubai that specializes in cargo logistics, port terminal operations, maritime services, and free trade zones, and the Government of Somaliland have launched the Berbera Economic Zone (BEZ).
With the ambition to transform BEZ into a significant trading hub in the Horn of Africa, the zone includes a new Special Economic Zone Law, Special Economic Zone Companies Law, fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, along with a one-stop shop for all registration and licensing requirements, offices, warehousing, and serviced land plots.
This new project is located 15km away from Berbera Port which launched a new container terminal in June 2021. They are connected through the Wajaale Road which leads to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
The region that it intends to serve, known as the Horn of Africa, has a population of more than 140 million people.
BEZ is expected to attract investment and provide jobs for the people of Somaliland. It will facilitate the access of Dubai companies which can register for Berbera through the Jafza one-stop shop, while companies in Berbera can access Jafza’s incubation center facilities.
Jafza is the Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai, from which this new project is modeled.
Muse Bihi Abdi, President of Somaliland said, “This is another proud and historic moment for Somaliland and its people.
After the inauguration of the container terminal at Berbera Port, and now with the economic zone open for business, we are taking a major leap forward in realizing our vision to establish Berbera as an integrated, regional trade gateway, which will be a key driver of economic growth, achieved through increased trade flows, foreign investment and job creation.”
The first phase of the project covers more than 1,200 hectares and will be expanded over time as demand grows.
Nearby Berbera Port is critical to the region's economy, capable of receiving even the largest container vessel in operation today.
The new expansion is expected to generate trade that will be equivalent to approximately 25% of Somalilan’s GDP and 75% of regional trade by 2035.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman, and CEO, of DP World, spoke regarding the project: “The dynamics of global trade are changing, and there is a growing need for trade infrastructure, such as economic zones, with easy and fast access to international shipping.
The integration of Berbera port with the new Economic Zone is a great example of this, making Berbera a world-class trading ecosystem, now and for the future.”