Oman, India explore new vistas in mining, minerals trading

By Kabeer Yousuf — MUSCAT: Jan 17 – Omani and Indian mining and minerals companies vowed to enhance bilateral trading relations in various areas with prime focus on natural resources under the assumption that the relations can be even stronger and better in minerals and mining between the two countries. India is one of the largest consumer of Omani mineral products including industrial rocks, minerals and metals and some of the natural resources which include copper, asbestos, limestone, chromium, and gypsum.
“We are trying to enhance our bilateral relations with India in terms of mining and mineral products as we feel that there is huge untapped potential for more business between the two countries in this sector”, Hilal bin Mohammed al Busaidy, CEO, Public Authority for Mining said at a special India-Oman Business Meet at the embassy premises.
901490The bilateral relations between the two reached $3.8 billion in 2015-16 and $1.88 billion during April-September 2016. Further, there are over 2,900 Oman-India joint ventures in Oman with a total investment of $7.5billion, in which India’s participation is estimated at around $4.5billion.
The Higher Committee on Economic Cooperation led by Adviser to HM the Sultan for Economic Planning and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission of India had concluded its report which identified nine areas of cooperation with mining an integral part, agriculture, healthcare, infrastructure, tourism, chemicals and fertilisers, education, oil and gas, and power.
Experts opined that Oman’s mining sector can be further developed with an eye on India for the proximity of the country with Oman and is said to be the fastest growing economy in the last few years.
Added to that, rapid urbanisation and substantial expected growth in per capita demand for construction materials in India makes it a very promising market for Omani finished products.
On the other hand, domestic demand for Omani minerals and mining is also expected to grow further as tourism and other logistics projects are moving ahead these years catering to an increasing population. While Oman’s exports have strong growth prospects, with minerals already accounting for one-third of non-oil outbound trade, the building materials segment continues to dominate Oman’s mining industry, according to the business representatives of various Indo-Oman companies.
Indra Mani Pandey, Indian ambassador to the Sultanate, Abdulla Salem al Salmi, Executive President of the CMA, Mohammed Said al Abri, Director General of the CMA, Ibrahim al Amri, Director, Mineral Development of Oman (MDO) we in attendance besides representatives of all Omani and Indian mining and minerals companies.