India & Oman to focus on space, mining, maritime & S&T sectors to upgrade ties - The Economic Times

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At the invitation of Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, Foreign Minister of the Sultanate of Oman, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Albusaidi, accompanied by a high-level official delegation, visited India on an official visit on Wednesday and Thursday.

India and its oldest strategic partner in the Gulf Oman on Wednesday decided to implement proposals in space, mining, maritime and science & technology sectors at the earliest to upgrade their ties.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, Foreign Minister of the Sultanate of Oman, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Albusaidi, accompanied by a high-level official delegation, visited India on an official visit on Wednesday and Thursday. This is the first visit of Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Albusaidi to India after his appointment as the Foreign Minister of Oman in August 2020.

During the delegation-level talks on Wednesday both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the close Strategic Partnership between India and Oman. Both Ministers underscored that as neighbors united by the waters of Arabian Sea, both the countries have an important role in the maritime safety and security in the region.

Both the Ministers positively assessed the multi-faceted India-Oman relations that span several areas of cooperation including political, strategic, defence, economy, energy, investment, space, mining, science and technology, culture, consular and humanitarian cooperation. Both Ministers welcomed the decision to expeditiously implement proposals for joint cooperation in space, mining, maritime and science & technology sectors.

“Both sides noted with satisfaction the continued intensification of close interactions at all levels including telephonic conversations between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik; regular meetings and contact between Foreign Ministers; visit of Secretary General of Oman’s Ministry of Defence to India; meeting of Joint Military Cooperation Committee (JMCC); holding of Foreign Office Consultations; visit of India’s Chief of the Naval Staff to Oman; visit of Commander of Royal Navy of Oman to India; bilateral Air Force exercise in India; meeting of Joint Maritime Committee etc,” according to a joint statement.

Both Ministers have agreed for holding the Joint Commission Meeting at the level of Commerce Ministers, India-Oman Strategic Consultative Group Meeting (Foreign Office Consultations), Strategic Dialogue and JWG on Labour at an early date.

The Ministers noted that the continued momentum in defence cooperation as it remains one of the key pillars of the bilateral cooperation. Both the Ministers welcomed the timely renewal of longstanding MoUs on military cooperation & maritime issues between India and Oman.

The 11th Joint Military Cooperation Committee Meeting (JMCC) was held in New Delhi in February which was co-chaired by Defence Secretary of India and Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence of Oman. Attesting to the trust and closeness in defence cooperation, Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence of Oman became the first foreign dignitary to embark on India’s Indigenous Aircraft Carrier - Vikrant. The two sides expressed satisfaction over the progress made in military-to-military engagements, excellent logistics support provided by Omani authorities, and various ongoing infrastructure projects. Both the leaders noted that the first visit of the incumbent Commander of the Royal Navy of Oman (CRNO) to India in February 2022 will help in deepening cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy of Oman. It was agreed to initiate the exchange of White Shipping information expeditiously to increase the maritime domain awareness of both the countries.

Oman was the first country in the region to accord approval to indigenously developed COVAXIN. India’s assistance in supplying critical medicines, including Hydroxychloroquine and COVID vaccine and Oman’s assistance in providing ventilators, oxygen concentrators and other critical equipment during India’s second phase, was a humanitarian gesture well-received by both Sides. The Air-bubble arrangement has served the interim travel needs of citizens of both countries and resumption of scheduled commercial passenger flights to their pre-pandemic capacity is on the cards.

There is significant potential to enhance bilateral trade in tune with the depth of India-Oman strategic partnership. The two Ministers underscored the need to enhance momentum in trade and investment linkages as the economies of both the countries show strong signs of post-pandemic recovery. The Ministers welcomed the progress and cooperation in resolving trade barriers in respect of critical agro commodities.

Both Ministers noted with satisfaction that several investment ideas continue to progress, and agreed to pursue opportunities in areas such as renewable energy, green hydrogen, green ammonia etc. Noting the synergy between the National Green Hydrogen Mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the vision of Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik to position Oman as a global hub for green Hydrogen and green Ammonia, it was agreed to enhance cooperation in this area.

Both Ministers agreed to finalize negotiations of the bilateral protocol on Investment and Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income (DTAA) at an early date. Both Ministers attested to the strong potential of cooperation in the renewable energy sector under the Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid.

The Ministers welcomed the signing of MOU between India Post and Oman Post for issuance of India-Oman Joint Commemorative Stamp. The joint stamp will highlight the millennia old shared cultural heritage between both countries and will be released in the last quarter of this year.

The Program of Scientific and Technological cooperation between the two countries within the joint committees programs was signed.

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