India will sign a maritime transport agreement with Oman during Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar’s visit scheduled on Tuesday to enhance engagement in Western Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and Eastern Africa and cooperation in maritime transportation.
During the Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Oman in February last year, an agreement was signed between two nations of strategic importance to give Indian Navy access to Duqm port in Oman. This agreement has given India access to its extended neighbourhood to explore the opportunities. This was an important moment for India and Oman which led to further identifying the new areas of cooperation.
Ahead of Jaishankar’s scheduled visit to Oman, he will also participate in the Joint Commission meeting Iran on Sunday-Monday to safeguard India’s interests in the region as India has opened more ports to connect with Iran’s Chabahar port which is located on the coast of the Gulf of Oman.
Oman is a strategic partner of India and the two countries share trade and people-to-people ties for several millennia. Oman is home to a large Indian expatriate community. Over 7,80,000 Indian citizens live in Oman which is the second largest expatriate community in the country. India is among Oman’s top trading partners. Indian companies have invested in iron and steel, cement, fertilizers, textile, cables, chemicals, automotive sectors in Oman. The bilateral trade between India and Oman rose to $ 5 billion in 2018-19. In 2018, India was the second-largest importer of crude oil from Oman.