Sultan Haitham in Delhi as India, and Oman pursue a free trade deal

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Sultan Haitham in Delhi as India, and Oman pursue a free trade deal

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi engaged in discussions on 16th December with Oman’s ruler, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, during the latter’s three-day visit to New Delhi. This visit, starting on the 15th, marks the first by an Omani ruler to India in over 25 years and signifies a significant step in pursuing a free trade agreement between the two nations.

Expressing the enduring bond between India and Oman, PM Modi emphasized their profound friendship spanning centuries, rooted not just in geographical proximity but also in extensive trade, shared cultural heritage, and mutual priorities. He welcomed Sultan Haitham and his delegation, highlighting the inauguration of a new ‘India-Oman Joint Vision: A Partnership for Future,’ outlining concrete action plans across ten diverse areas.

Initiated from Modi’s 2018 visit to Oman, the India-Oman Joint Vision underscores collaboration in maritime affairs, connectivity, and energy security, especially in green technologies like hydrogen, space exploration, digital payments, health tourism, disaster management, agriculture, and food security.

The discussions during the visit encompassed a prospective free trade agreement, akin to the one India sealed with the UAE in the previous year. PM Modi expressed contentment over the ongoing deliberations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), aiming to enhance economic cooperation. He anticipated swift agreement signing, fostering a new chapter in their partnership.

This visit holds significance following India’s hosting of the G20 summit, where Oman, a non-G20 country, was invited as a special guest, affirming the bilateral relationship’s importance. Vinay Mohan Kwatra, India’s foreign secretary, highlighted the substantial strides made in CEPA negotiations and the shared commitment to expeditiously finalize the agreement.

The visit aims to elevate the strategic partnership between India and Oman, potentially opening new dimensions for collaboration and strengthening their enduring ties.
(Source Arab News)

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