Explained | India – Oman Bilateral Relationship

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Explained | India – Oman Bilateral Relationship Blog Image

What’s in today’s article?

  • India-Oman Bilateral Relationship
  • Economic & Commercial Relations
  • Indian Community in Oman
  • News Summary

India-Oman Bilateral Relationship

  • The Sultanate of Oman is a strategic partner of India and an important interlocutor at Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Arab League and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) fora.
  • India and Oman are linked by geography, history and culture and enjoy warm and cordial relations.
  • Diplomatic relations were established in 1955 and the relationship was upgraded to Strategic partnership in 2008.
  • Visits at the highest level have been exchanged frequently between India and Oman.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Oman in February 2018.

Economic & Commercial Relations

  • Both India and Oman accord high priority to strengthening economic and commercial relations between the two countries.
  • Economic cooperation between India and Oman is reviewed thorough the institutional mechanism of Indo-Oman Joint Commission Meeting (JCM).
  • Bilateral trade for the year 2021-2022 reached US$ 9.9 billion.
  • Major Exports:
    • mineral fuels and products of their distillation, textiles, machinery, electrical items, chemicals, iron and steel, tea, coffee, spices, rice and meat products and seafood.
  • Major Imports:
    • urea, LNG, polypropylene, lubricating oil, dates and chromite ore.
  • Oman-India Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF) is a 50-50 Joint Venture between State Bank of India and erstwhile State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of Oman.
  • Indian firms have invested heavily Oman in various sectors like iron and steel, cement, fertilizers, textile, cables, chemicals, automotive, etc.

Indian Community in Oman

  • There are about 9 lakh Indians in Oman as of 2023.
  • The Basic Law of Oman recognizes the right to different forms of worship.
  • The Hindu merchant community has two temples, including one over a century old, and their own cremation grounds.

News Summary

  • India and Oman will sign a trade deal in the coming months as New Delhi seeks to expand its ties in the Middle East.
  • Oman has agreed to eliminate duties on Indian exports worth an annual $3 billion including agricultural products, gems and jewellery, leather, automobiles, medical devices, engineering products and textiles, the officials said
  • India has agreed to reduce duties on some petrochemicals, aluminum and copper from Oman, while capping imports of such goods, the officials said.
  • The trade deal requires the approval of the government that wins India’s ongoing general elections, whose results are to be announced on June 4.
  • After making little progress on an agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), India has shifted its focus to bilateral accords with GCC member states such as Oman and the UAE.
  • Relationship with Oman is important for India as the Gulf nation is a gateway to the narrow Strait of Hormuz between Oman and Iran, a major transit point for global oil shipments.

Q1. What countries border the Strait of Hormuz?

It is bordered by Pakistan and Iran in the north, by the United Arab Emirates in the west and by Oman in the south. The gulf is relatively shallow because of its origin as a fissure in the mountain spine now divided between Iran and Oman.

Q2. Where is Gulf of Aden located?

The Gulf of Aden is located in the Indian Ocean and is situated between Yemen on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula and Somalia in Africa. The gulf – roughly 900 kilometers long and 500 kilometers wide – is an important waterway for transporting Persian Gulf oil.

Source: India set to sign trade deal with Oman to expand its Middle East ties