Oman’s Minister of Commerce and Industry HE Ali bin Masud Al Sunaidy said bilateral trade between India and Oman had grown over the years and cooperation between the two countries could increase in several sectors in the future. HE Al Sunaidy made the remarks in relation to Indian Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu’s visit to the Sultanate.
Prabhu agreed that India and Oman had been working to increase cooperation in multiple sectors.
“We can establish companies to provide fruits and vegetables to both countries,” said Prabhu. “Perhaps farmers’ associations in both India and Oman can have a 10 per cent share in these companies. We also want to renew our investment in the Oman tech fund, which would benefit India.”“We have Indian satellites that can provide us with accurate information about everything from weather conditions and red tide, to mineral resources and security,” he added. “There is untapped potential here.”
“We also want more slots in Indian airports for Oman Air and Salam Air, so we can expand our connectivity,” remarked the Indian minister. “There is also the potential of Duqm to host packaged food industries, to which India can contribute.”
Prabhu said his “long overdue” conversation with his Omani counterpart resulted in key agreements in several areas.
The Indian minister added that it was a good thing that his visit to Oman was delayed until after he was given the aviation portfolio, in addition to his work in the commerce and industry ministries.
“Now, that I have been made the aviation minister, I can’t have any excuses,” he said. “We have to ensure that I take up the task of ensuring better connectivity between Oman and India.”
“We have 29 states in our country, and if we ensure connectivity between them and Oman, there will be a demand for connectivity between some of the smaller cities and Oman,” added Prabhu. “There is always room for improvement.”
“Ali Al Sunaidy and I discussed everything from space to oil and mines under the ground,” he recounted. “We hope to increase co-operation in the fields of agriculture, infrastructure, aviation, oil, and mining, among others.”
Prabhu added that India was a large and growing economy, and he wanted Oman to benefit from India’s growth.
“We are projected to be a US$5 trillion economy and we would like Oman to be a fellow traveller on this path of growth,” he remarked. “I also want to point out that India is the single largest recipient of remittances in the world. I would like to thank Indian nationals here for working hard, sending money home, and contributing to our economy in such a significant manner. I also want to thank the Omani people and the government of Oman for making Indian citizens feel at home.”
India’s ambassador to Oman Indra Mani Pandey said the best way for Indo-Oman ties to flourish was to allow Indian and Omani companies to do business together.