03:28 pm - Tuesday 26 May 2015

2012 Report To Explore Sultanate’s Potential As Manufacturing Hub

By staff - Sat May 28, 7:33 am

Joint Investment Fund could target Sohar Free Zone – Indian Ambassador to Oman

The long-awaited India-Oman Joint Investment Fund which was signed earlier this year should pave the way for heightened economic cooperation between the two countries in a number of key sectors, according to HE Anil Wadhwa, Indian Ambassador to Oman.

Wadhwa said that Oman’s strategic location, port facilities and industrial hubs would help the two countries increase trade activity in areas such as manufacturing, transport and logistics.

“Oman has the potential to become a manufacturing base for India, due to its proximity to the Indian subcontinent,” he said. “Sohar Free Zone is in an ideal position to help achieve this ambition and could provide interesting opportunities for India in the textile, pharmaceutical and hardware industries over the next two years.”

India is also investing heavily in its food processing industry, which Wadhwa said was high on the list of segments earmarked for expansion in Oman.

The Ambassador was speaking to Oxford Business Group (OBG) as part of the research for The Report: Oman 2012, the global publishing, research and consultancy firm’s forthcoming guide on the Sultanate’s economic activity and investment opportunities.

Wadhwa said India stood to benefit from Oman’s expansion in downstream and upstream activities relating to oil and gas, with refineries earmarked for funding from the Sultanate. He voiced his hope that the two countries would also team up to explore opportunities in renewable energy sources.

“Oman is expected to increase its investments in the Indian refining capacities and other areas of downstream,” he said. “India also sees renewable energy sector (RES) as one of the key areas where opportunities for cooperation with Oman exist, notably for solar energy development.”

The Joint Investment Fund will allocate up to US $1.5 billion for collaborative projects between India and Oman. A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is being discussed between India and the GCC.

The Report: Oman 2012 will mark the culmination of more than six months of on-the-ground research by a team of analysts from OBG. The Group’s report will include a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for foreign investors, together with a wide range of interviews with the most prominent economic and business leaders, including His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and Deputy Prime Minister H.H. Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said.

The Prime Minister of Singapore LEE Hsien Loong, the Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, and the President and CEO of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce David Hamod will also give their views on Oman’s economic development.

The Report: Oman 2012 will provide information on opportunities for foreign direct investment into the Sultanate’s economy. It will be a guide to the many facets of Oman, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and sectoral developments. The report will be available in print form or online.

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