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Ambassador’s speech at “Al Roya Business Awards 2019” on 25 April 2019

Posted on: April 25, 2019 | Back | Print

Ambassador’s speech at “Al Roya Business Awards 2019” on 25 April 2019

Your Highness Sayyed Dr. Faris bin Turki Al Said,
Honourable Mr. Hatim Al Tai, Editor-in Chief, Al Roya,
Hignesses, Excellencies, Distinguished Business Leaders, Friends,

Good Evening.

          It is a great pleasure for me to join you all at the 2019 edition of Al Roya Business Awards. I am particularly delighted that this year Al Roya has chosen India as its partner country. I express my sincere appreciation to Al Roya for bestowing this honour and also congratulate them on organising such a wonderful event tonight.

          Friends, India and Oman have always enjoyed very close and friendly relations that have become exceptionally strong in recent years under the wise leadership and guidance of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. Our relationship has now evolved into a strategic partnership, which is based on shared interests and values. 

          There is strong desire on both sides to further develop, and expand our strategic partnership. A road-map for this was worked out during the visit of Prime Minister of India to Oman last year at the invitation of His Majesty. A number of decisions were taken to elevate the level of our cooperation in existing areas and initiate cooperation in certain new areas. As Embassy of India, our main task is to pursue implementation of these decisions with the support of Government of Oman.

          Economic partnership is a key pillar of India-Oman strategic partnership. As many of you would know, trade links between India and Oman go back to more than 5000 years. Over the years, while dynamics and commodities of trade have changed but India and Oman still remain very close trading partners. We have also made significant investments into each-other’s economies.

          Several of the Indian business houses being honored today have been part of this journey for centuries. Others have joined it relatively recently. They all have worked closely with our Omani friends and partners to build this impressive architecture of economic cooperation.

          Today, there are more than 3200 India-Oman Joint Ventures that are currently operational with a combined value of over USD 7.5 billion. India has been a reliable partner of Oman in its tremendous growth since the blessed renaissance. Ventures like Oman India Fertilizer Company and Bharat Oman Refineries Limited are shining symbols of this partnership. Indian companies are among the biggest investors in Oman’s free zones. Even in recent months, several new big projects have been initiated by Indian companies in Oman like “Little India” project in Duqm, SV Pittie Sohar Textiles in Sohar and Deepak Oman LLC in Salalah, to name a few. I believe representatives of all these companies are present here with us this evening.  

          Oman-India Joint Investment Fund, a 50-50 joint venture between State Bank of India and State General Reserve Fund of Oman has been performing very well and is on course to investing its second tranche.

          Strong people-to-people ties have provided a strong foundation for this partnership. We deeply appreciate the warm hospitality  extended by the Government and people of Oman to the Indian Diaspora.

          So, where do we go from here? Today, geopolitical developments, military conflicts and the growing wave of protectionism have adversely impacted the economic environment and, as a result, the global economy is experiencing a slowdown. In my view, the need of the hour is to do more business with each-other and not less. Reversal of globalization will not serve anyone’s interest. 

          Further, the rapid technological development and the Industry 4.0 is changing the way businesses function across the world.   As Prime Minister Modi stated: "Coming age is the age of knowledge. However rich, poor or powerful a country be, if they want to move ahead, only knowledge can lead them to that path."

          It is, therefore, logical that in its Vision 2040, Oman wants to become a knowledge-economy.

          Friends, the Indian economy has shown tremendous resilience. India’s sustained high economic growth makes it an engine of global growth. Today, India is the 3rd largest economy of the world in purchasing power parity terms. India is committed to continuing with economic reforms. In just two years, India has jumped up 53 positions in the World Bank's 'ease of doing business' index. 65% of India’s 1.3 billion population is below the age of 35 years. Given this demographics, bulk of the future global growth will be in India.

          There are strong complementarities between India and Oman which provide immense opportunities for expansion of our economic partnership. India is a natural market for Oman’s resources. Indian companies have the capabilities to support Oman’s transformation into a knowledge-economy. Given its strategic location, Oman can be a gateway to the Middle East as well as Africa for Indian companies. Oman’s Special Economic Zones offer incentives that make setting up new ventures there economically viable and attractive. 

          In short, we believe that India can be a reliable partner for Oman in all priority sectors identified by Government of Oman under its Tanfeedh programme as well as in realization of its Vision 2040. I have no hesitation in saying that the future of economic relations between India and Oman is very bright. As His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, himself, had very wisely told our Prime Minister last year, “Sky is the limit for India Oman relations”.
          Before I conclude, I would like to congratulate all Indian companies and businessmen who are being honoured today. I also congratulate in advance all the winners of  Al Roya business awards.

          I once again thank the Al Roya Team for inviting me and wish them success in their endeavours. 

          Thank you.