Muscat: Bilateral trade and investment are key pillars of Indo-Oman ties, Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar today said as he sought to strengthen economic and strategic ties with the oil-rich Gulf nation.
“India and Oman have a relationship that can be a model: we are maritime neighbours across the Indian Ocean. The historical maritime trade and cultural exchanges, spanning over 5000 years, have evolved over the past 7 decades into a strategic partnership between India and Oman,” Akbar said at the 5th India-Arab Partnership Conference.
He said the historical maritime trade and cultural exchanges, spanning over 5000 years, have evolved over the past 7 decades into a strategic partnership between India and Oman.
“Apart from extensive defence and security co-operation and people-to-people exchanges, bilateral trade and investment are key pillars of the India-Oman bilateral partnership,” he said.
Today, there are around 3000 joint ventures between Indian and Omani partners in Oman with a total investment of around USD 7.5 billion.
Calling Gulf and West Asia as India’s “energy security “pillar”, he said Maghreb is the major source of phosphate and fertiliser for the country.
He said the India-Arab Partnership Conference, which began in 2008, can be a real game changer, as the ties have acquired critical mass.
“India and the Arab world have always been bridged by enormous goodwill. Our merchants have improved the quality of life on both sides of the waters since before recorded history, but that was only a part of the equation.
He said there are 700 flights a week between India and UAE alone and the bilateral trade has crossed USD 184 billion, which is more than 25 per cent of India’s global trade.
Seeking investment in India, he said the government has created a single window an ‘Invest India’ authority – to facilitate and hand hold investors looking to invest in any part of the country.
“We want the world to ‘Make in India’. Because we have the talent at every level of human resource needed for the new economy. To offer only one example, that sovereign wealth funds of Gulf countries can be profitably invested in India s burgeoning infrastructure sector, which offers healthy returns.”
On terrorism, he said there is an urgent need for partnership against this “life threatening menace”.
“As our Prime Minister has said and repeated: There is no good or bad terrorism. Such evil does not have shades.
Hypocrisy and complacence in dealing with this evil is suicidal,” he said
“Terrorism generates not only conflict on battlefields; it sows fear in the midst of plural societies, building walls of dread among people who have lived together for ages.
“We can witness the political consequences of this phenomenon in nations that believed, till recently, that they had overcome such dangers through economic success and liberal co-existence,” he said.
“We need partnership in security, and there is substantial space for co-operation in both conventional instruments of security as well as new approaches as in cyber security. We welcome a dialogue that is backed by ability, need, confidence and confidentiality,” he said.