Muscat: Non-oil exports from Oman to India increased by an impressive 172 percent between 2020 and 2021, said Qais Al Yousef, the country’s Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion.
Speaking ahead of a planned trip to New Delhi to take part in the 10th Oman–India Joint Commission Meeting, an annual gathering that takes place to develop trade and investment links between the two countries, the minister said, “Non-oil exports to India, a key priority of the Omani government and business community, reached $1.2 billion in 2021, a jump of 172 percent over 2020, while imports from India hit $2 billion, a 94 percent increase over 2020.”
The official programme of high-level meetings and events will commence with Minister Al Yousef addressing an Oman–India B2B networking session on 11 May at the Leela Palace Hotel in New Delhi. Accompanying the delegation are senior representatives from Oman Investment Authority, Public Authority for Special Economic Zones & Free Zones and Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry as well as Omani companies from the construction, manufacturing, retail, automotive, renewable energy, pharmaceutical and tourism sectors.
Ahead of his departure, he emphasised the importance of trade and investment missions such as this in promoting Oman’s world-class goods and services in global markets as well as the investment opportunities open to foreign investors in Oman.
He continued: “On this visit we look forward, in particular, to sharing the potential of pro-business and investment environment in Oman under the guidance of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and the possibilities that have already opened up in the Sultanate as a result of Oman Vision 2040, our framework for development and growth.”
Noting that this year marks India’s 75 years of independence, during which the country has become a global business leader and a $3 trillion plus economy, the minister expressed his delight at visiting New Delhi to congratulate the Indian people in person and to engage with government and business captains on growing trade ties.
He continued: “Holding this Joint Commission Meeting at this time presents a real opportunity to support and strengthen the long-standing trade partnerships that connect us – helping both sides fully embrace the opportunities on offer. I fully expect to see further growth in Oman-India trade as both countries emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
From an investment perspective, Al Yousef commented: “India is already a large inward investor in Oman, but there are significant opportunities to increase this even further. In fact, there are great complementarities between India’s needs and Oman’s offer, particularly in logistics, mining, tourism, manufacturing and renewables. These are all areas ripe for Oman-India collaboration.”
Like many economies around the world, India was also impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but now looks set to be one of the best emerging market recovery stories of 2022 with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry predicting GDP growth at 7.4 percent for the financial year 2022-23.
Oman’s growth trajectory
The Omani economy is also on an optimistic growth trajectory with S&P Global revising the Sultanate’s rating in April to BB- with a stable outlook, the first upgrade since 2015. The IMF World Economic Outlook Report projects 5.6 percent GDP growth for Oman in 2022, making it the third fastest growing economy in the GCC.
“The benefits of improved Oman-India trade and investment relations cannot be denied, bringing with it increased people-to-people ties, innovation, entrepreneurship, job creation and greater prosperity for both countries. We look forward to more of Oman in India and more of India in the Sultanate of Oman,” concluded Al Yousef.