India and Oman should expand cooperation to new areas of mutual interest including space, cyber-security, renewable energy and food security to realise the full potential of bilateral trade which currently stands at $7 billion, Union minister CR Chaudhary said on Tuesday.
Observing that a lot of restrictions have been lifted to make doing business easy, the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry said 90 per cent of total foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country was now coming through the automatic route.
“Considering the expanding economies of India and Oman there is scope for substantial increase in the bilateral flow of trade and investments and diversifying the trade basket,” Chaudhary said while addressing a summit organised by industry body PHD Chamber of Commerce.
He said Indian companies can also use the Duqm special economic zone in Oman as a hub and gateway to reach out to the rest of Middle East and African nations.
“India needs to engage with Oman and take initiative to utilise opportunities arising out of the Duqm port industrial city,” Chaudhary said.
Highlighting that the total trade between the two countries is around $7 billion, the minister noted that Oman ranks 31st in terms of FDI into India.
“Oman offers unmatched incentives to Indian investors assuring the long term interest of Indian investors to set up manufacturing facilities so that goods may be exported to USA under the aegis of unique free trade agreement which exists between Oman and USA,” Oman’s Ambassador to India, Hamed Saif Al-Rawahi, said.