Retail

Oman eyes PTA with India; to boost India's trade ties with Gulf after UAE CEPA


Qais Mohamed Al Yousef Oman’s Minister of Commerce & Industry & Investment Promotion will visit India this week eyeing to push the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) close on the heels of India-UAE CEPA opening up opportunities for India in the resource rich Gulf region.

The Oman Minister besides holding dialogue with his Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal could also call on the Prime Minister and National Security Adviser underscoring the significance of strategic partnership in the Indian Ocean Region, ET has learnt. Coinciding with the visit of Al Yousef, UAE’s Minister of Economy Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri is expected to visit India to push investment partnership exploring opportunities across sectors both in India as well as UAE, according to persons familiar with the development.

Al Yousef, who is accompanied by a high-level business delegation comprising over 40 top business honchos from Oman, is expected to push PTA with India, according to one of the persons quoted above. “There has been a series of high level engagements since February beginning with the visit of Oman Defence Secretary followed by Navy Chief and Joint Air Force Exercise. This was followed by the visit of Oman’s Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Albusaidi, and the trade Minister is expected to visit India between May 10-14,” Oman’s Ambassador to India Hamed Saif AL Rawahi told ET. Oman has potential in many industries such as tourism, fisheries, logistics, mining,

and technology services, and manufacturing.

The Omani government actively encourages foreign direct investment and has used the proceeds from oil and gas to develop the country’s infrastructure and human resources, according to AL Rawahi. Oman is seeking partnership with India to realise Vision-2040, AL Rawahi added. Oman’s (India’s oldest strategic partner in the Gulf) location on the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, at the crossroads of the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa, and South Asia, and in proximity to shipping lanes carrying a significant share of the world’s maritime commercial traffic and access to larger regional markets, which is an attractive feature for potential foreign investors. India is in fact working closely with Oman to enhance strategic depth in the region and add heft to its Indo-Pacific vision in the Western and Southern Part of Indian Ocean.

The Indian Navy has been given access at the Duqm Port. Port of Duqm SEZ, which is earmarked to be the Indian Oceans largest deep sea port where an Indo-Oman Joint Venture, Sebacic Oman is undertaking a $ 1.2 billion project for setting up the largest Sebacic acid plant in West Asia. A ‘Little India’ integrated tourism complex project in Duqm, worth $ 748 million, has been signed between the two countries, according to the Omani envoy.

Some of the established industrial enterprises in Port of Sohar, with an estimated total Indian investment of over $2 billion, Indian entities comprise the largest foreign investors. Oman India Fertilizer Company in Sur is a $ 969 million India-Oman joint venture in Oman between IFFCO and KRIBHCO of India and Oman Oil Company (OOC) for manufacturing of fertilizers plant produces all the UREA exclusively for Indian farmers. At Oman’s Port of Salalah, Indian investments are in manufacturing of automotive parts, textiles, cables, guar gum,

.

All these ports are a mere five days shipping time from western Indian Sea Ports. Oman too has invested substantially in India and some of the investments are– India-Oman Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF), a JV between State Bank of India and State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of Oman, a special purpose vehicle to invest in India, has been operational.

Oman Refineries BORL the Oman India Joint venture is a $ 1.2 billion investment in India, according to AL Rawahi . Way back in 1994 Oman banks financed vaccine production startup facility Shantha Biotechnics the first Indian company to develop, manufacture and market recombinant human healthcare products .

The start up was wholly funded by Oman banks with significant share-holding by Oman investors. It was a major breakthrough in international vaccine pricing and supply to poor countries worldwide. Today the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sanofi group of France.

Between Oman and India Investment flows both ways have increased and have been robust, as reflected in numerous joint ventures, established both in India and Oman with estimated total investment of around $ 7.5 billion. There are over 3200 Indian enterprises and establishments in Oman.

(The one-stop destination for MSME, ET RISE provides news, views and analysis around GST, Exports, Funding, Policy and small business management.)

Download The Economic Times News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.



READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.