India-Oman trade reaches $6.7 billion
Muscat: Bilateral trade between Oman and India grew by almost 69 per cent from $4 billion in the 2016-2017 financial year to $6.7 billion in the 2017-2018 financial year, an all-time high, Indian government data has revealed.
Indian embassy officials put this down to an appreciation in oil prices, adding that it was a positive for the Omani economy.
India’s Ambassador to Oman Indra Mani Pandey said that he was pleased that bilateral trade between India and Oman had increased. “We are happy that trade between India and Oman has reached a record high of $6.7 billion from April 2017 to March 2018, compared to $4.0 billion from April 2016 to March 2017, mainly due to a substantial increase in the import of oil and petroleum products by India. We hope to maintain this momentum during the current year too,” Pandey remarked.
India exports mineral fuels and oils, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances, articles of iron or steel, electrical machinery, equipment, textiles, garments, chemicals, tea, coffee, spices, cereals, meat and seafood to Oman.
The major Indian imports from Oman are oil, petroleum products, fertilisers, bituminous substances, mineral waxes, aluminium, organic chemicals, salt, sulphur, earth and stone, plastering materials, lime and cement.
The second secretary at the Indian embassy in Muscat Yumkhaibam Sabir said the substantial rise in bilateral trade between India and Oman was welcome. “The total trade between the countries for the financial year comes to around $6.7 billion. This is an all-time high. We believe that it is a positive development. However, we have to point out that the amount of oil that we imported from Oman has not increased substantially; rather, the price of crude has shot up. It has worked out rather well for the Sultanate and we are glad that it has,” he said.
India also had strategic goals as far as bilateral trade with the Sultanate was concerned, he added.
“In the immediate future, we want to increase the number of items that we already export to Oman. Increasing the quantity will certainly help our economy,” the second secretary remarked.
Sabir added that the embassy had played a key role in facilitating trade and investment between the two countries.
“The Indian embassy here in Muscat regularly arranges business-to-business (B2B) meetings. This is to allow businesspersons to sit down and chat with each other. They know exactly what they want. They’ll reach mutual agreements on their own," he said.
“We invite Omani businessmen to travel to India and the other way around. Different Indian business delegations have come down to Oman. At one point, as many as 45 companies had come down from Gujarat. Many companies came from Maharashtra as well,” he added.