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India, Oman identify new sectors for deeper relations, says Envoy

Huma Siddiqui
India oman ties, renewable energy, Hamed Saif Al Rawahi, Narendra Modi, ITEC, imports machinery, special economic zones

To further strengthen the already strong trade ties, both India and Oman have identified new sectors for expanding bilateral relations in sectors like cybersecurity, outer space, food security, renewable energy, and pharmaceuticals.

Oman is in the midst of pushing `Tanfeedh' programme for economic expansion in which India is playing a very important role. Since Economic expansion is also one of the key objectives of Oman's Vision 2040 programme, there are huge opportunities for the Indian companies to participate in the new areas which have been identified for the expansion of ties.

The ambassador of Oman to India, Hamed Saif Al Rawahi has said, "These sectors are of major importance for bilateral relations between the two countries. For safeguarding energy security, and to deal with fuel shortage in the future, we have both agreed to deepen our cooperation in the area of strategic reserves. There is also a need to have collaboration in the field of cybersecurity."

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The bilateral relations between the two countries have been witnessing an upswing, more so after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the Sultanate in 2018 when several major agreements were inked between the two countries.

According to the envoy, exports from Oman to India besides other items include fertilisers, mineral fuels, oil, aluminium, salt, plastering materials, and lime and cement. And the Gulf country imports machinery, food and beverages, iron and steel implements, electrical equipment, textiles, and other items.

Both countries have agreed to join hands in building the strategic oil reserves in India and in Ras Markaz near Duqm, which will help to further, enhance oil security for both countries.

Indian companies have been playing a very important role in very critical sectors in that country and today almost 3,000 Indo-Omani joint ventures are operational there. Indian companies have been getting into logistics, minerals and mining and manufacturing as well as in free zones and special economic zones. India has been playing a significant role in Oman's food security and has been extending its expertise in developing the fisheries sector of that country.

Under its Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC), India is already playing a very significant role in the human resource development by providing professional training.

The two countries have agreed to fight together with the threat of global terrorism.

Indians are among the largest overseas communities in Oman, and according to data from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), there are 638,794 Indian expatriates currently living in there.