During Sultan Haitham bin Tarik’s momentous visit to India, India and Oman embarked on a journey to elevate their relations to unprecedented heights. This visit, the first by an Omani leader in 26 years, has resulted in the creation of a ‘Joint Vision’ document and a renewed commitment to a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). I
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sultan Haitham engaged in fruitful discussions that went beyond the realms of trade and investment. The ‘India-Oman Joint Vision’ outlines specific areas of collaboration in ten key sectors, including maritime cooperation, digital payments, space exploration, green energy initiatives, tourism, agriculture, food security, and even cricket. Notably, clean hydrogen will be a focal point within the green energy sector, highlighting both countries’ dedication to sustainable development.
Oman’s ‘Vision 2040’ and India’s ‘Amritkaal’ goals converge within this framework, promoting a cooperative approach towards mutual objectives. This synergy was evident in the importance placed on expediting the CEPA negotiations. Both leaders acknowledged the significant progress made in recent rounds of talks and expressed their desire to see the agreement signed in the near future.
The implementation of the CEPA is expected to unlock substantial trade benefits, facilitating easier access for Indian exports of petroleum, steel, electronics, and textiles to the Omani market. Similarly, Omani oil and gas, petrochemicals, and manufactured goods will find a more receptive market in India.
In addition to strengthening trade ties, the visit also highlighted the strong defence cooperation between the two countries. Discussions focused on regional security concerns, such as the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the global challenge of terrorism. The shared understanding of these threats and the commitment to finding solutions further solidified the strategic partnership.
Apart from formal agreements, the visit also promoted cultural and technological exchanges. Collaborations in information technology, combating financial crimes, and cultural exchange were signed, demonstrating a commitment to fostering deeper connections between the people of both nations. The establishment of a Hindi chair at the Indian Council of Cultural Relations in Oman is a testament to the cultural bridge being built.
Sultan Haitham’s visit signifies a new chapter in India-Oman relations, moving beyond a trade-centric partnership to a more comprehensive and sustainable relationship. The ‘India-Oman Joint Vision’ provides a clear roadmap for this journey, while the renewed focus on CEPA promises to unlock economic opportunities for both countries.
Prime Minister Modi stated, “Today is a historic day in India-Oman relations.” With the groundwork laid for future collaboration, this visit serves as a catalyst for a dynamic and mutually beneficial partnership in the years ahead.”
Sultan Haitham bin Tarik’s recent visit to India, the first by an Omani leader in over two decades, signifies a significant milestone in the relationship between India and Oman. The endorsement of the ‘India-Oman Joint Vision – A Partnership for Future’ and the pursuit of a CEPA demonstrate a mutual dedication to enhancing bilateral connections across various sectors.
This visit not only reinforces the strategic partnership between the two countries but also establishes a foundation for future collaboration, promising a future characterized by mutual prosperity, security, and cultural understanding. As India and Oman navigate the intricate geopolitical landscape, this renewed diplomatic engagement presents promising opportunities for both nations. Consequently, this historic visit not only represents a remarkable achievement in India-Oman relations but also serves as a beacon of optimism for stronger ties and shared progress in the years ahead.