India, Oman MOU will strengthen cooperation in human resource development: Singh

November 9th, 2008 - 4:00 pm ICT by ANI  

img src=”/newsportal/images/Manmohan Singh-83229.jpg” alt=”Manmohan Singh” border=”0″ hspace=”5″ vspace=”2″ width=”180″ height=”139″ align=”right”

By Pankaj Chaudhry
Muscat, Nov.9 (ANI): Visiting Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, said on Sunday that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between India and Oman on labour mobility, protection and workers welfare, would strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the field of human resource development.
Addressing the Indian community here on the second day of his two-day visit to Oman, Dr. Singh said: The government is constantly alive to the welfare of the NRI (non-resident Indian) community. Yesterday, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between India and Oman on labour mobility, protection and welfare of workers. This important initiative will provide a framework for strengthening cooperation between our two countries in the field of human resources development.”
The over 200 Indian expatriates in Muscat were also told that the Indian Government sees the Gulf region as an area of great importance.
It is a part of our extended neighbourhood and home to five million Indians. It is the largest source of our energy supplies. We have active trade and investment interests. Piracy, criminal activities and terrorism on our seas and land threaten the Gulf countries and India as well. There are many reasons for us to work closely together with Oman to ensure a stable and prosperous region,” Dr. Singh said. Commenting on the current international economic and financial situation/meltdown, Dr. Singh: Our growth rate may come down somewhat next year. However, we still hope to achieve a growth rate of seven and a half percent next year. The fundamentals of our economy are strong. Our banking system and financial institutions are well capitalized and secure. I have constituted a high level committee to monitor the situation and suggest short-term and long-term measures to use this opportunity to further accelerate our growth.” He said that the gathering at Sundays reception represented the close to 550,000 Indians in Oman, the largest expatriate group in the country.
You are a vibrant and industrious community. You are a microcosm of the multicultural and multi-religious diversity of India. Above all, you symbolize the contemporary face of the civilisational and historical links that have existed between India and Oman for centuries. Today, you are employing your skills to build a prosperous Oman and a new life for yourselves and your families. Your achievements are a matter of pride for the people back home in India, said the Prime Minister.
Describing his first visit to Oman as Prime Minister as an honour, Dr. Singh said India enjoys exceptionally close and warm relations with Oman in all spheres of human activity and that he was here to further strengthen these ties.
He said that he had had excellent discussions with Omans Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Fahd Mahmoud Al Said and that he was looking forward to his audience with Omans Sultan Qaboos Bin Said later in the day.
He said that India is undergoing a major transformation.
Our economy is expanding rapidly. New opportunities for our youth are emerging every day. Our Government has embarked on the largest education, social welfare, skill development and employment generation programs in the history of our country. We are paying particular focus on the development of our agriculture and the rural areas. Our financing requirements for the building of massive infrastructure in the next five years are estimated at over 500 billion US dollars, he added.
Lauding the Indian community for its contribution to the development of India and Oman, Dr. Singh said annual remittances from Oman to India are more than 780 million dollars, and this reflected their confidence in India.
I hope that you will continue to display the same confidence in the future and invest in the future of our children and grandchildren, he added.
There are over 130 companies from India who are currently engaged in Oman. Several Omani companies are engaged in business in India. We will continue to encourage a much greater flow of investment into each others countries, Dr. Singh said.
Dr. Singh said that the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has taken several other initiatives for the benefit of the Indian Diaspora.
The Ministry is in the process of establishing Overseas Indian Community Welfare Funds in all our Missions in the Gulf. The Overseas Workers Resource Centre, which is a toll free helpline, has been established for Indian workers in the Gulf. We have also created an Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre to provide opportunities for you to invest in India. A Scholarship Scheme for Diaspora Children has been introduced, he said.
He concluded his address by saying that India-Oman ties were based on solid foundations of close mutual understanding, and added that each Indian residing in Oman had an important role to play in further cementing this very important relationship. (ANI)

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