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    India Set to Sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Oman in Modi’s Third Term


    India Set to Sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Oman in Modi's Third Term

    In a significant development, India is poised to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Oman within the first 100 days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third term. This agreement marks a pivotal moment in the strategic ties between the two nations, as confirmed by two officials familiar with the matter.

    Negotiations between India and the Sultanate of Oman were on the verge of completion during Modi’s previous term. However, due to the enforcement of the model code of conduct ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the FTA deal could not be finalized. Now, with Modi’s re-election, the process is set to resume, awaiting the formal political nod from both sides.

    The FTA with Oman holds significant promise for India across various sectors. It is expected to bolster India’s energy security and ensure a more affordable supply of fertilizers. Additionally, the agreement is anticipated to stimulate foreign investments, further enhancing economic ties between the two countries.

    One of the key benefits of the FTA will be the reduction in prices of Indian imports to Oman, including essential commodities such as rice, tea, coffee, spices, dairy produce, meat, apparel, steel products, and machinery. This move is set to boost trade volumes and promote economic growth for both nations.

    The groundwork for this agreement has been laid with preparatory discussions between Indian and Omani officials. The draft documents are currently in progress, indicating a positive trajectory towards finalizing the FTA soon.

    The meeting between Sultan Haitham bin Tarik of Oman and Prime Minister Modi in December 2023 played a crucial role in advancing these discussions. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries was a prominent topic during their discussions, emphasizing the shared commitment to strengthen economic cooperation.

    As part of their longstanding cooperation, India and Oman are also exploring avenues to enhance investments. This includes the establishment of an Oman desk in Invest India to facilitate investments and an India desk in Invest Oman, highlighting the mutual interest in fostering economic partnerships.

    With bilateral merchandise trade between India and Oman witnessing significant growth in recent years, reaching $12.39 billion in 2022-2023, the FTA is expected to further catalyze trade and investment activities, reinforcing the robust relationship between the two nations.

    Sources By Agencies

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