January 22, 2019
Duqm SEZ could be a key hub for India Inc. to make a foray into Oman & rest of Middle East and even Africa: Chaudhary at PHD Chamber
The investment opportunities provided through SEZ Duqm project in Oman will prove to be an important milestone to further strengthening and cementing bilateral trade and economic relationship between India and Oman, says Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Mr C R Chaudhary.
The Minister further emphasized that India Inc. should use Duqm as a hub and gateway to reach out to not only Oman but also the rest of the Middle East including Africa in a bid to explore an intensify business and economic trade for mutual gains and win-win situation on account of its multi faceted significance.
Addressing an event on Investment Opportunities in the SEZ at Duqm & B2B Meetings with Omani Business Representatives and official under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman here today, the Minister also added that the mega projects in Duqm offer great opportunities for the Indian companies in all the sectors of economy and India needs to engage with Oman and take initiatives to utilize opportunities arising out of the Duqm port industrial city.
The Minister further felt that the total trade between the two countries which is around USD7 billion has potential to substantially multiply given the relationship of the two economies. “The total FDI from Oman into India from April 2000 to June 2018 has been of the order of USD476.64 million with Oman ranking 31st in terms of FDI in India”, said the Minister.
“However, the bilateral relations are satisfactory, especially the robust security and defence cooperation and India should also further expand cooperation to new areas of mutual interest, including space, cyber security, energy security, renewable energy and food security with a view to take the strategic partnership to a higher level”, emphasized Mr Chaudhary.
In his address, Chair of SEZAD & Ithraa, H.E. Mr Yahya Said Abdullah Al Jabri said, “the government has taken several initiatives to encourage private sector participation in the economic development of the Sultanate, which include the establishment of logistics hubs in the form of economic zone at Duqm as well as free zone areas in Salah and Sohar and manufacturing base in the form of industrial areas in close proximity to seaports and airports”.
He further added that the SEZ model provides a suitable framework to establish PPP in development related business opportunities such as port, dry-dock and industrial land development.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador, Embassy of Oman in India, Mr Hamed Saif Al-Rawahi reminded that over the years, Oman and India have created some path-breaking and unique business links. “The refineries and fertilizer plant at Bina and Sohar respectively are shining examples of our collective efforts for the development of both the countries”, felt the Ambassador.
“Oman offers unmatched incentives to Indian investors, assuring the long-term interests of Indian investors, to setup manufacturing facilities so that goods may be exported to USA under the aegis of unique ‘Free Trade Agreement’ which exists between Oman and USA”, concluded Mr Al-Rawahi.
In his opening remarks, Vice President, PHD Chamber, Mr Sanjay Aggarwal emphasized saying, “Oman is India’s oldest defence partner in West Asia and with access the port of Duqm, India can use it for military purpose and logistical support. It will also allow India to expand its footprints in the Indian Ocean Region. India has a noteworthy presence in the Duqm Special Economic Zone, including Sebacic Oman a USD1.2 billion project for the largest Sebacic acid plant in the Middle East. Also, a ‘Little India’ integrated tourism complex project in Duqm, worth USD748 million on completion has been signed”.
Among others who were present on the occasion comprised Excellencies from other Middle East countries; Immediate Former President, PHD Chamber, Mr Anil Khaitan; Co-Chair, International Affairs Committee for Africa, Gulf & SAARC, PHD Chamber, Mr Vivek Agarwala and its Secretary, Mr. Niraj.
Koteshwar Prasad Dobhal