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India and Oman Strengthen Bilateral Ties with a Focus on Trade and Investment

On the sidelines of the State Visit of the Sultan of Oman, His Majesty Haitham bin Tarik, to India on December 16, 2023, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Shri Piyush Goyal, and the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion of the Sultanate of Oman, H.E. Qais Bin Mohammed Al Yousef, engaged in discussions aimed at fortifying the longstanding history of friendship and cooperation between the two nations.

The visit of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to India, at the invitation of President Smt. Droupadi Murmu, Head of State of the Sultanate of Oman, marks a historic moment in the diplomatic relations between India and Oman. The Sultan, accompanied by a high-level delegation, including senior ministers and officials, will embark on his first state visit to India, reflecting the significance both countries attach to their strategic partnership.

Ceremonial Welcome and Bilateral Discussions

On December 16, 2023, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik received a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by the President and the Prime Minister of India. Bilateral discussions took place, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosting a luncheon in honour of the visiting dignitary. These discussions covered a wide range of issues aimed at fostering collaboration for regional stability, progress, and prosperity.

Economic Partnership Agreement

During the discussions, leaders expressed satisfaction with the ongoing negotiations for the India-Oman Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The pace of negotiations has been commendable, with two rounds held in quick succession within a month’s time. This reflects the commitment of both countries to deepen economic relations.

Negotiations on the text of the India-Oman CEPA have largely been completed, and leaders have urged negotiators to address remaining issues promptly, paving the way for the early conclusion of CEPA negotiations and the signing of the agreement.

Focus on Investment Enhancement

Both ministers also highlighted the importance of a focused approach to enhancing investments in both countries. In this regard, it was decided that an Oman Desk would be created in Invest India, showcasing the commitment to facilitating investments. Similarly, Invest Oman will launch an India Desk to streamline investment opportunities between the two nations.

Flourishing Bilateral Trade

India and Oman share a rich history of friendship and cooperation, grounded in mutual trust and respect and deep people-to-people ties that span centuries. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1955, upgraded to a strategic partnership in 2008, the bilateral trade and investment relationship has flourished.

Bilateral trade between India and Oman witnessed remarkable growth, increasing by 82.64% in 2021-2022, reaching US$ 9.99 billion. The upward trajectory continued in 2022-2023, with trade reaching USD 12.39 billion, more than doubling in the previous two years, compared to USD 5.4 billion in 2020-2021.

The visit of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik serves as a testament to the enduring ties between India and Oman and sets the stage for deeper collaboration in various domains, ensuring the continued growth of their strategic partnership.