A high-level multi-sectoral business delegation led by H.E. Mr Qais bin Mohammed Al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry & Investment Promotion of Oman came to India on five days visit from May 10-14, 2022. The visit took place in the backdrop of the India-UAE trade deal and ongoing trade talks with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations of six Middle Eastern economies including Oman.
“The visit of the Omani delegation comes at a time when the bilateral trade between the two countries has grown by 82% to reach USD 9.94 billion in the financial year 2021-2022”, a Ministerial statement read.
The delegation, accompanied by 48 members included senior executives and business representatives from diverse fields spanning mining, pharmaceuticals, health care, tourism, telecommunication, real estate, shipping and energy, an official statement from the Indian Commerce and Industry Ministry revealed.
The visit agenda included India-Oman Joint Commission Meeting (JCM), Joint Business Council (JBC) meeting, many B2B events, Industry interactions and investor meetings. Forty high-profile Omani organizations present in the delegation visited New Delhi and Mumbai to explore new business opportunities and company formation in India. The Indian trade mission aimed at strengthening trade and investment ties in manufacturing, healthcare, renewables and tourism between the two countries.
The Indian Commerce and Industry Ministry noted, “During the visit, senior officials from both sides would be participating in the 10th Session of the India-Oman Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) to be held on 11 May 2022 in New Delhi.”
Mr Qais bin Mohammed Al Yousef, after conducting a series of trade and investment-focused meetings with Indian ministers and leading industrialists, held discussions with the senior officials at Invest India, one of the most awarded investment promotion agencies globally and Niti Aayog, the premier policy think tank of the Indian government. After all such meetings, the Omani Minister delivered opening remarks at the 10th Oman-India JBC meeting at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry.
The Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion Minister Al Yousef recognized the strong bilateral commercial and business relationship between Oman and India and remarked, “As Oman’s economy moves forward under the wise guidance of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and given the new opportunities already opened up by Oman Vision 2040 we are seeing a growing number of Indian SMEs and investors looking to leverage Oman’s strategic location and world-class transport infrastructure to enter the GCC and African markets. This is borne out by the recent trade and investment figures, but we cannot take this ongoing interest for granted. We are fully committed to encouraging new and impactful collaborations in health, renewables, tourism and manufacturing, sectors where our nations have complementary capabilities. This is the message I delivered loud and clear at Thursday’s Joint Business Council meeting and indeed I was most gratified by the positive response this received.”
The Omani Minister highlighted the business growth potential for Oman-made goods in India and added, “The 172 per cent increase in our 2021 non-oil exports to India demonstrates the appetite for Omani products with Indian consumers. From discussions held during this trip, it is clear this is very much the tip of the iceberg in terms of demand, particularly given the growth of India’s middle class. The prize is substantial. On our return, my team and I will be engaging with Omani exporters to encourage them to seize the opportunities and capitalize on the wealth of possibilities presented by the Indian market given that by 2050 it will be the world’s third-largest importer, following China and the United States.”
Presently, many Indian companies are doing business in Oman in diverse sectors and across all Omani regions with an estimated total investment of USD 7.5 billion. India Oman long enjoyed an unfailing business partnership with trade and investment remained on an upward trajectory even during the Covid pandemic.
A staggering 94.8% increase in the number of registration of Indian businesses with the Invest Easy portal of MoCIIP for Oman company incorporation bears the testimony of strong and coherent business bonds between the two countries. The number of Indian businesses in Oman almost doubled between 2019-2021 rising to 877 from 450 and the bilateral trade volume also increased to USD 9.9 billion from USD 5.4 billion over the last two years registering an impressive annual growth rate of 82.6%.