The visit, at the invitation of President Droupadi Murmu, showcased the warmth and friendliness between leaders and underscored the enduring partnership built on historical ties, mutual trust, and shared interests.
One of the key highlights of this diplomatic exchange was the issuance of a Joint Vision document titled 'A Partnership For the Future.' This visionary document, adopted during the visit, outlines a roadmap for cooperation, identifying areas such as maritime collaboration, energy security, space technology, trade, health, tourism, and cultural exchanges.
The leaders expressed confidence that this Joint Vision would elevate bilateral cooperation to unprecedented heights. Notably, the economic ties between Oman and India have witnessed remarkable growth, with bilateral trade doubling from $5.4 billion in 2020-21 to $12.3 billion in 2022-23. Negotiations on an India-Oman Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) are underway, promising even more substantial progress.
The announcement of the 3rd tranche of the Oman-India Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF) further underscores the commitment to catalyze investments and boost economic collaboration. This fund is expected to attract investments from Oman and the Gulf region into the rapidly growing sectors of the Indian economy.
Defense cooperation, space exploration, civil aviation, and healthcare were among the many topics discussed during the visit, reflecting the comprehensive nature of the bilateral engagement. Both leaders acknowledged the importance of enhancing cultural ties, as evidenced by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on culture and the release of a Joint Commemorative Postage Stamp.
The maritime history between India and Oman, symbolized by dhows facilitating trade and cultural exchanges, was celebrated. The leaders endorsed a proposal to recreate a maritime voyage, showcasing the ancient connections between the two nations. This symbolic journey, tentatively set for 2025-26, aims to spotlight the historical ties that bind Oman and India.
On the sidelines, various Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and Agreements were signed, ranging from culture and information technology to intelligence exchange on money laundering and terrorism financing. These agreements solidify the commitment to collaboration in diverse fields.
As the visit concluded, both leaders condemned terrorism unequivocally and emphasized the need for universal values of peace, moderation, coexistence, and tolerance. They reiterated their commitment to supporting endeavors that promote global and regional stability.
The Oman-India Joint Statement of 16 December 2023, not only signifies a milestone in diplomatic relations but also sets the stage for a future marked by enhanced cooperation, shared prosperity, and strengthened people-to-people ties. His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik extended a cordial invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, continuing the tradition of reciprocal visits that deepen the fabric of friendship between Oman and India.