India considering Preferential Trade Agreement with Oman: Piyush Goyal

India was considering to enter into a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Oman, union minister of commerce and industry, consumer affairs, food and public distribution and textiles, Piyush Goyal, has said. 

The minister said this while delivering the keynote address at the 10th meeting of the India-Oman Joint Business Council (JBC) in New Delhi on Saturday. He also said that India was already looking at a comprehensive trade agreement with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, of which Oman is an important member. 
The minister said that the Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) that took place on Friday between India and Oman, which was long overdue, was a very productive one. He expressed confidence that the discussions with business leaders on both sides would help the discussions under JCM come up with new ideas to boost our already deep bonds of friendship, and turn our vision into reality.
Observing that India and Oman have been connected for more than 5,000 years through friendship and brotherhood and very warm and strong people-to-people ties, the minister said that despite such close relations, bilateral trade and investment in the two nations were yet to reach maximum potential. Goyal stressed that all the engagement that happened in the JCM, the friendship between him and his counterpart in Oman, the visionary leadership of the heads of both nations and the warm people to people ties between the two nations should and must lead to significant increase in business to business engagement. 
Paying his respects to late HM Sultan Qaboos, Goyal said that he was held in very high esteem in India and was conferred the Gandhi Peace Prize. He was one of the architects of close India-Oman bilateral relations, the minister added. We owe it to him to strive to transform his vision into reality and take the partnership between India and Oman to the heights it truly deserves, the minister stated. 
He expressed confidence that the Joint Business Council will supplement the efforts of governments of both countries to deepen engagement. These agreements, he said, would only reach their true potential if businesses display that enthusiasm which will in turn help political leadership take bold decisions. He urged businesses in both nations to look at new opportunities, especially in services, investment, food security, sustainability, renewable energy and startups.
The minister acknowledged the care, concern and love that was showered on expatriate Indians by the people of Oman, especially during the pandemic. He added that Oman was the first country in the GCC to authorise the use of India made Covaxin. Referring to cultural and culinary affinities between the two nations, the minister said that these ties have brought the people of both the nations even closer.
The minister invited Oman government to increase their pharma trade with India. Mentioning the market study on cooperation in the pharma sector that was unveiled at the JCM yesterday, the minister expressed confidence that the report would be invaluable to Indian companies wishing to enter Omani market. Our pharma companies will bring quality products at competitive prices to consumers in Oman and help bring down the cost of healthcare, he assured. He also thanked Oman for agreeing to fast-track approval for Indian medicines that had already been cleared by strong regulatory environments like UK, EU and the US.
The minister urged both nations to leave no stone unturned when it comes to working together to improve the lives of people in India and Oman.
Minister of commerce, industry and investment promotion of the Sultanate of Oman, Qais bin Mohammed Al Yousef, said the two nations had a successful Joint Commission Meeting and added that India and Oman had great trust and confidence in each other. He also invited Indian companies to invest and do business in Oman.