Oman and India have reaffirmed their commitment to expand the bilateral trade and encourage businesses to invest in each other’s country in order to realize the untapped potential in the commercial and economic relationship between two countries.
According to a press statement issued by the Indian embassy in Muscat, the bilateral trade between India and Oman grew by 8.5 per cent in the year ended March 31, 2020 [Indian fiscal year 2019-2020] over the previous year to reach US$5.93bn. While India’s exports to Oman were valued at US$2.26bn, India’s imports from Oman amounted US$3.67bn in the Indian fiscal year 2019-2020.
The ninth session of the India- Oman Joint Commission Meeting was held on Monday through the virtual platform. It was cochaired by Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and H E Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef, Oman’s Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion. The meeting was attended by representatives of various government departments/ministries from both sides.
Both sides, among other things, agreed to cooperate in areas of agriculture and food security, tourism, information technology, health and pharmaceuticals, micro, small and medium enterprises, space, civil aviation, renewable energy, and higher education.
The Joint Commission Meeting called on Indian investors to invest in Oman’s renewable energy sector, such as wind and solar projects, and food security projects. The bilateral meeting also reviewed the progress of prospective memorandums of understanding (MoUs) in the field of mining, standards and metrology, financial intelligence, cultural exchange and information technology, and agreed to conclude them expeditiously.
Both sides, as per the Indian embassy’s statement, also agreed to expedite their internal procedures for signing and ratification of the protocol amending India-Oman Double Taxation Agreement and conclusion of the India-Oman Bilateral Investment Treaty.
Shri Puri highlighted the recent initiatives taken by the Indian government for improving the ease of doing business and to boost domestic manufacturing in India, including the production linked incentive schemes for various sectors, and invited Omani sovereign wealth funds and private businesses to invest in India.
The increasing bilateral trade and investment between the two countries is a key element of the strategic partnership. India is among Oman’s top trading partners. For Oman, India was the third largest source for its imports and third largest market for its non-oil exports.
Indian firms have invested in Oman in various sectors like iron and steel, cement, fertilizers, textile, cables, chemicals, automotive, etc. There are over 4,100 Indian enterprises and establishments in Oman with an estimated investment of US$7.5bn.