New Delhi: India were looking to take their friendship with Oman to the next level and the two countries discussed steps to improve the bilateral trade, with the countries looking emerge stronger in the future.
The 7th India-Oman Joint Commission meeting was held under the leadership of the Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Oman, here on Wednesday.
During the official interaction, the two sides discussed bilateral economic and commercial matters of mutual interest and discussed ways to increase the bilateral trade and investment linkages between the two countries.
Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Sitharaman said, “There is a scope for immense interaction and greater engagement with Oman. The meeting has only reinforced the possibilities which exist immensely. There has been a warm and meaningful interaction. We hope to follow it up by a delegation which will be going to Oman in December.”
She further noted “There are also negotiations with Gulf Cooperation Council. We hope to work a lot more intensely with Oman on newer and more intense economic activity...a lot of new areas of discussion have come out.”
Sunaidy said, “We had a very good discussion today. We have had very constructive two days which will also go on in the next two days in Mumbai. Our trade is expanding, our exports and imports with India are expanding. So there is an increase of over 55% between 2012 and 2013. We hope that this can be expanded forward.”
He added that Oman looks forward “To India as a very close partner as it has always been. And we now have to come up with more innovative ideas for more business in the future.”
Both the Ministers witnessed the signing of MoU on Standards and Metrology between the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Oman. The two Ministers also welcomed the signing of the Agreement on Legal and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters.
Oman is an important trading partner of India in the Gulf region with bilateral trade exceeding US$ 5.70 billion in 2013-14. The contribution of over 700,000 strong Indian community in the progress and development of Oman is well acknowledged and appreciated.