New forum launched to boost India-Oman trade

February 19th, 2008 - 11:24 am ICT by admin  

By Aroonim Bhuyan
Dubai, Feb 19 (IANS) A new Indian Business Forum has been launched in Oman to boost trade and commerce between India and the Gulf nation. An initiative of the Indian embassy in Oman, the forum is aimed at providing a platform to bring together Indians and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) in Oman, occupying prominent positions in business establishments, so that they can share ideas and information on trade and investment opportunities between India and Oman, according to India’s Ambassador to Oman Anil Wadhwa.

“We have a lot of persons of Indian origin who are chief executives of prominent business establishments here in Oman. We hope to channel their resources to increase business volumes between India and Oman,” Wadhwa told IANS over phone from Muscat.

He said that the formalities to give concrete shape to the forum, which was launched in the course of a four-day India Show 2008 trade exhibition here last week, would be completed soon.

“The idea is to have the forum members meeting at least once every two months - that is six times a year - to share ideas and exchange information,” the ambassador said.

Trade volume between India and Oman stood at $1.3 billion in 2007.

“Indian companies alone bagged contracts worth $698 million in 2007,” Wadhwa said.

Pankaj Khimji, a PIO and co-chairman of the India-Oman Joint Business Council, gave a presentation - opportunities for India in Omani priority sectors - during the launch of the forum on the concluding day of the India Show 2008.

Joint deputy director general of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) Anand Seth and S. Sreedharan from consultancy firm Ernst & Young also gave presentations showcasing India as an attractive investment destination.

Deals worth $1 million were concluded between Indian and Omani companies during the trade exhibition, which was organised by the Indian embassy in collaboration with the Oman International Trade and Exhibition Company.

According to an embassy statement, 25 Indian companies, under the FIEO banner, showcased their products ranging from foodstuff to utensils, textiles, handicrafts, leather upholstered furniture, plants and machinery, banking and tourism at the show at the Oman International Exhibition Centre here Feb 13-16.

Apart from concluding the million-dollar worth of deals, which include long term supply of goods from India, the participants managed to sell all the goods they had brought for the show.

Companies from the services sector also held meetings with many Omani players during the show.

Among the companies that came from India for the show were Centurion Bank of Punjab, Oriental Bank of Commerce, JIICO Exports, Nisarga Bio-tech and Coconut Development Board.

A number of Indian companies already present in Oman, such as New India Assurance Company, State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda also took part.

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