India, Oman calls for cooperation in trade, investment

Muscat: India and Oman called for a greater cooperation in trade and investment and underlined the on-going transformation of both the countries’ economies.

The two sides directed their finance and trade ministers to work together to find ways and means to substantially increase the flow of bilateral investments and trade.

Both countries expressed satisfaction at the growing presence of Indian and Omani companies in each other’s market and agreed to further encourage trade promotion measures and participation in fairs and exhibitions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered India’s partnership and cooperation in key areas such as- minerals and mining, manufacturing, logistics, infrastructure, tourism, agriculture and fisheries, Information Technology (IT) and IT enabled-services, skill development and innovation for diversifying Oman’s economy, a joint statement was issued after Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Oman.

In terms of investment, both countries expressed their commitment to encourage mutual investments and agreed that the India-Oman Joint Investment Fund could be an important mechanism to raise funds for two-way investments.

The Indian Prime Minister apprised the King of Oman, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said of various key government initiatives such as- “Start Up India”, “Make in India”, “Smart City”, “Digital India” and “Clean India”, highlighting their strong potential to provide the economy a positive thrust for sustained growth.

The Indian Prime Minister highlighted the major initiatives taken by his Government, including for improving the ease of doing business and invited Omani Sovereign Wealth Funds, including State General Reserve Fund, and private businesses to invest in India.

The ‘Make in India’ initiative was launched by the Centre in 2014 to encourage companies to manufacture their products in India.

The objective of the initiative are- job creation and skill enhancement in 25 sectors of the economy, improving the quality standards and minimising the impact on the environment and to attract capital and technological investment in India.

The ‘Start-Up India’ was launched in 2015 and aims to enable an eco-system to promote and nurse entrepreneurship across the country.

The ‘Digital India’ is a campaign to ensure that government services are made available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology. The initiative includes plans to connect rural areas with high-speed internet networks across the country.

The Clean India Mission or the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) is a campaign in India that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, smaller towns, and rural areas. The objective of the programme is to eliminate open defecation and build toilets.

The mission, which began on October 2, 2014, aims to achieve an Open-Defecation Free (ODF) India by October 2, 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 12 million toilets in rural India at a projected cost of Rs. 1.96 lakh crores.

The Smart Cities Mission was launched in 2015. It is an urban renewal and retrofitting program by the Government of India with the mission to develop 100 cities across the country, by making them citizen friendly and sustainable.

Around 99 cities have been selected to be upgraded as part of the mission.