Oman, India ink maritime transport pact

Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman and Republic of India on Tuesday inked an agreement to enhance the existing economic and trade relations, especially in the area of commercial marine transport. The agreement was inked in the presence of Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdallah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs and S Jaishankar, Indian External Affairs Minister.

The agreements, inked by Saeed bin Hamdun bin Saif al Harthy – undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport for Ports and Maritime Affairs, and Munu Mahawar, Indian ambassador to Oman, is aimed at developing relations between companies and institutions concerned with shipping and maritime transport, including exchange of training programmes for employees and students from various maritime institutions.

Speaking to the Media, Dr S Jaishankar said, “It is a historical relationship and Oman has been a host to the large Indian community. I am confident our discussions will take relationships to new level”.

He added “the fact is between the western shores of India and the coasts of Oman there is just a little bit of water that separates the two countries.”

The agreement also calls for joint projects in maritime transport, shipbuilding, and ship repair, ship recycling, maritime training, marine information technology applications including simulation development, port facilities, and related marine activities.

Both sides will work towards developing the flow of commercial goods between the two countries through commercial fleets as well as seeking to avoid unnecessary delays to ships by simplifying the customs procedures at ports. It will also seek to recognize maritime civil certificates and identity documents for seafarers.

Dr S Jaishankar also interacted with members of the Indian community in Muscat at a special event held in the embassy.

“Oman is a strategic partner of India and the two countries are linked closely by geography, history, and culture and enjoy warm and cordial relations. India is among Oman’s top trading partners. During 2018-19, bilateral trade stood at $5 billion,” a statement said.