The 9th Session of the India-Oman Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) was held on 19 October, 2020 through the virtual platform. It was co-chaired by Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and H.E. Mr. Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion of the Sultanate of Oman. The meeting was attended by representatives of various government departments/ministries from both sides.
During the meeting, both sides reviewed the recent developments in trade and investment ties and 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.
Both sides, among other things, agreed to cooperate in areas of Agriculture & Food Security, Standards & Metrology, Tourism, Information Technology, Health & Pharmaceuticals, MSMEs, Space, Civil Aviation, Energy including renewable energy, Culture, Mining, and Higher Education.
Both sides also reviewed the progress of prospective Memorandum 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 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.
The two sides also exchanged views on the unprecedented global health and economic situation arising due the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Indian side appreciated Oman for signing and ratification of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement.
Puri highlighted the recent initiatives taken by the Government for improving the ease of doing business and to boost domestic manufacturing in India, including the production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes for various sectors, and invited Omani Sovereign Wealth Funds and private businesses to invest in India.
India and Oman have always enjoyed close and friendly relations which go back to several millennia. The close bilateral ties, including vibrant trade and cultural exchanges, have now expanded into a strategic partnership based on trust and mutual respect. Increasing bilateral trade and investment between the two countries is a key element of the strategic partnership.
The economic and commercial relations between India and Oman are robust and buoyant. India is among Oman’s top trading partners. For Oman, India was the 3rd largest source for its imports and 3rd largest market for its non-oil exports. Bilateral trade between India and Oman grew at 8.5% in 2019-20 over the previous year to reach USD 5.93 billion. While India’s exports to Oman were valued at USD 2.26 billion, India’s imports from Oman amounted USD 3.67 billion in 2019-2020.
Bilateral investment flows have been robust. Indian firms have invested heavily in Oman in various sectors like iron and steel, cement, fertilizers, textile, cables, chemicals, automotive, etc. There are over 4100 Indian enterprises and establishments in Oman with an estimated investment of US$ 7.5 billion. Cumulative FDI equity inflows from Oman to India during the period April 2000-June 2020 amounted to USD 535.07 million.
Both sides agreed to nominate a focal point from their respective Ministries of Commerce and Industry to carry forward the follow up on the discussions held and the decisions taken during the JCM.
Agreed Minutes of the Meeting were adopted by both Ministers.