Oman-India Friendship Association
Oman have recently announced to establish a Friendship association with India.
- Establishment of the Friendship Association is the first such initiative in West Asia Region.
- This move of Oman was announced during a bilateral discussion that was held between the foreign ministers of India and Oman.
- The bilateral discussion was held virtually in after the recent trip by the External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, to Bahrain and UAE.
- In the virtual bilateral discussion, both of the countries reviewed their economic cooperation, Capacity Building, consular issue and training programmes.
Aim of the Oman-India Friendship Association
The Oman-India Friendship association has been established with an aim to provide a platform that will promote the matters of mutual interest. The association would also boost the understanding between the business and social communities of both the countries.
Oman is a strategic partner of India. The maritime tradition and maritime interaction between India and Oman dates back to 4000 years BC. However, the bilateral relations between both the countries were officially established after Indo-Oman Treaty of friendship, Navigation and Commerce was signed in 1953. Both the countries across Arabian Sea are linked geographically, historically and culturally. The countries share a warm and cordial relations.
People to People ties
Oman is home of a large number of Indian expatriate community where as, India is a major destination for Omani students. India also accounts for Omani medical tourists.
Oman is an important trading partner of India. The bilateral Trade between both the countries was $4.5 billion in 2010. The firms from both the countries have undertaken joint ventures several sectors such as fertilisers, pharmaceuticals, energy and engineering.
Oman is the first Gulf country that have formalised the defence relations with India. The countries conducted a joint military exercises in the year 2006. After that, defence agreement was signed between them. Further, the Indian Navy has been accorded with the berthing rights in Oman. Indian Navy utilises Oman’s ports as bases to conduct the anti-piracy operations in Gulf of Aden.
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, visited Oman. The countries agreed to enhanced the cooperation in defence, food security, energy, trade and investment and other regional issues recenyly in 2018. In December 2019, both the countries signed the Maritime Transport Agreement. This agreement empowers India to expand its footprints in the Southern Indian Ocean, East Western Indian Ocean, East Africa and Persian Gulf. Under the agreement, the Indian Navy was provided access to the the Duqm Port. Apart from that, India is planning several other projects in Oman including a 1.2 billion project to set up the largest Sebacic Acid plant. India has also planned to construct an integrated tourism complex “Little India” This will cost 78 million USD.