DP World and the Government of Somaliland have inaugurated the Berbera Economic Zone (BEZ), which, along with the port of Berbera, is transforming the area into a major trade hub in the Horn of Africa.
The BEZ is located just 15 km from the port along the Berbera to Wajaale road (Berbera Corridor) that connects to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
It is based on the model of DP World’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) in Dubai. There will also be synergies between the two zones, where companies in Dubai can register for Berbera through the Jafza one-stop shop, while companies in Berbera can access Jafza’s incubation centre facilities.
The zone is designed to create a business-friendly environment to attract investment and create jobs for Somaliland.
The master plan for the BEZ covers more than 1,200 ha and will be expanded over time as demand grows. With phase one now open, it offers serviced land plots for the construction of company facilities, 10,000 sq m of pre-built warehouses, build-to-suit facilities, open yard storage, a common user warehouse which DP World will operate to handle customers’ cargo, as well as office space with end-to-end IT services.
The opening of the economic zone followed the inauguration of the new container terminal at Berbera port in June 2021. DP World’s vision for Berbera is to develop it into a trade hub, taking advantage of its strategic location along one of the busiest sea routes in the world and access to the vast hinterland in the region, including Ethiopia.
Expansion of the port of Berbera – a multipurpose facility that comprises bulk and breakbulk handling facilities – is expected to facilitate trade equivalent to approximately 27 percent of Somaliland’s GDP and 75 percent of regional trade by 2035.
The BEZ will make trade easier for businesses in Somaliland and also the wider Horn of Africa, said DP World. “This will benefit a variety of sectors including exporters, importers and processors of livestock, agricultural and perishable goods, textiles and construction materials,” it added.