The Sultanate of Oman is a strategic partner of India and an important interlocutor at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Arab League, and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) fora. India and Oman are linked by geography, history and culture and enjoy warm and cordial relations, which are attributed to historical maritime trade linkages, intimacy of the Royal family with India and the seminal role played by the Indian expatriate community in building Oman. While people-to-people contact between India and Oman can be traced back 5000 years, diplomatic relations were established in 1955 and the relationship was upgraded to a Strategic partnership in 2008.
In recognition of the growing strategic relations between the Sultanate of Oman and the Republic of India, and at the invitation of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Sultan of Oman, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, paid a State visit to the Sultanate of Oman from 11-12 February 2018
In 2020, long time ruler of Oman and one of the architects of close India-Oman bilateral relations, HM Sultan Qaboos passed away. Government of India announced national mourning for one day on 13 January 2020 in his honour. HM Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik was appointed the Sultan of Oman on 11 January 2020
India is among Oman’s top trading partners. For Oman, India was the 3rd largest (after UAE and China) source for its imports and 3rd largest market (after UAE and Saudi Arabia) for its non-oil exports in 2018. During 2020-21, bilateral trade was $5.44 bn. Major items of Indian exports are mineral fuels and products of their distillation, textiles, machinery, electrical items, chemicals, iron and steel, tea, coffee, spices, rice and meat products and seafood. Among major Indian imports are: urea, LNG, polypropylene, lubricating oil, dates and chromite ore
Bilateral Investment flows, have been robust, as reflected in numerous joint ventures, established both in India and Oman. According to Oman’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, there are over 4,100 Indian enterprises and establishments in Oman with an estimated investment of $7.5 bn. Oman-India Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF) is a 50-50 Joint Venture between State Bank of India and State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of Oman, the main sovereign wealth fund of Oman
Between April 2000 and March 2021, India received $549.53 mn in FDI from Oman. The key sectors were Oil and Gas, Financial Services, Construction, Hotels, Healthcare and Retail.
There are about 7,00,000 Indians in Oman, of which about 5,67,000 are workers and professionals (June 2020). Many Indian families have been living in Oman for more than 150-200 years and it is estimated that a total 2911 Indian origin people have received Omani citizenship. Thousands of Indians are working as doctors, engineers, chartered accountants, teachers, lecturers, nurses, managers, etc. There are 21 Indian schools offering CBSE curriculum, catering to the educational needs of more than 45,000 Indian students.
India and Oman signed an MoU on Cultural cooperation in July 2010, which is automatically renewed every five years. The first ever ‘Festival of India in Oman’, organized by the Embassy of India with the support of Ministry of Culture of India during November 2016-March 2017, was inaugurated by Oman’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Yoga is quite popular in Oman especially among expatriates and local youth. The number of participants in celebration of International Day of Yoga has increased from around 3,000 persons in 2016 to 6000 in 2019. International Day of Yoga 2019 was also celebrated in other cities of Oman including Sur, Suhar, Nizwa and Salalah.
SVP Global Ventures Ltd set up a plant in Oman at an investment of $300 mn. It is in the Sohar Free Zone exempting them from income tax. They also received port facilities with priority for movement of raw material containers and finished goods.
Oman India Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF), a joint venture between Oman’s sovereign wealth fund, State General Reserve Fund, and State Bank of India. OIJIF sold a 0.7% stake in PVC pipe manufacturer Prince Pipes and Fittings for $4.8 mn, a return of 2.27 times.
Oman India Joint Investment Fund II (OIJIF) acquired 1.63% stake in Mumbai based DCB Bank valued at INR 42 crore through a bulk deal.
Oman India Joint Investment Fund II (OIJIF) invested INR 84 crore for a 9.90% stake in Punjab-based in Capital Small Finance Bank.
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The World's Most Innovative Investment Promotion Agency Award 2021 awarded by OCO Global
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Investment Promotion Award 2020 for best practices in COVID response
Best Investment Project Award five years in a row - 2016 to 2020 at the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) organized by the Ministry of Economy, UAE.
Great Place to Work Certification by GPTW Survey 2019
The UNCTAD Award 2018 for promoting investment in sustainable development
Great Place to Work Certification by GPTW Survey 2018
Investment Award 2016 from the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Investment Promotion Award 2016 for excellence in partnering for investment promotion