Pact inked with India on maritime transport

MUSCAT, DEC 24 – India and Oman on Tuesday signed an agreement to enhance the existing economic and trade relations, especially in the area of commercial maritime transport.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdallah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, and S Jaishankar, Indian External Affairs Minister.
Speaking to the media, 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 the new levels. The fact is that 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 agreements, signed by Saeed bin Hamdun al Harthy, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Transport for Ports and Maritime Affairs, and Munu Mahawar, Indian ambassador to Oman, are 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.
Both sides will work towards developing the flow of commercial goods between the two countries through commercial fleets.
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 also seek to avoid unnecessary delays to ships by simplifying the customs procedures at ports. It will also seek to recognise maritime civil certificates and identity documents for seafarers.
Dr 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.