Commerce & industry minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday India will likely consider a preferential trade agreement (PTA) with Oman to further boost economic co-operation.
Both the countries have already decided to undertake a study to assess the feasibility of such an agreement.
“We may consider doing a PTA with Oman to begin with, because we are looking for a comprehensive agreement between the GCC region and India, (which is) under active discussion,” Goyal said.
Apart from Oman, the GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). India recently concluded a free trade agreement (FTA) with the UAE.
Although the scope of a PTA is not as broad as that of an FTA, it still allows partners to grant substantial market access by removing or reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers for various products.
India-Oman trade jumped from $5.4 billion in FY21 to $9.94 billion in FY22, having witnessed an impressive 82.6% rise, albeit on a conducive base.
Both the countries have decided to enhance collaboration across a range of fields with particular emphasis on the 3Ts (trade, technology, tourism), food and agriculture, renewable energy, health and pharmaceuticals, mining, manufacturing, information technology, sports, culture, youth and tourism.
Oman’s minister for commerce, industry, and investment promotion Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef, who is on a visit to India this week, invited Indian businesses to explore opportunities.
He was speaking at the India-Oman business council meeting.
Oman on Wednesday decided to fast-track approval process for the registration of Indian pharmaceutical products that are already registered by the relevant authorities in the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union.