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regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

India to sign trade deal with Oman amid New Delhi's push to expand ties in West Asia

India and Oman have annual trade of less than $13 billion, but the relationship is important for New Delhi as the Gulf nation is a gateway to the narrow Strait of Hormuz between Oman and Iran, a major transit point for global oil shipments

Our Bureau And Agencies New Delhi Published 28.04.24, 10:37 AM
A worker sits on a ship carrying containers at Mundra Port in Gujarat

A worker sits on a ship carrying containers at Mundra Port in Gujarat Reuters

India and Oman will sign a trade deal in the coming months, two Indian government officials said, as New Delhi seeks to expand its ties in West Asia, where rising tensions are putting major shipping routes at risk.

“It will help India with a strategic partner and access to key trade routes in a volatile region,” one official told Reuters.

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India and Oman have annual trade of less than $13 billion, but the relationship is important for New Delhi as the Gulf nation is a gateway to the narrow Strait of Hormuz between Oman and Iran, a major transit point for global oil shipments.

Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has spread to hostilities with Iran, and Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi militants have launched repeated drone and missile strikes in the
Red Sea area, claiming solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza.

The trade deal requires the approval of the government that wins India’s ongoing national elections, whose results are to be announced on June 4, the officials said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is widely expected to win a rare third term.

The officials asked not to be named as the discussions are private.

India’s trade and foreign ministries and Oman’s embassy in India and foreign ministry did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Talks with Taipei

India and Chinese Taipei have asked the WTO’s dispute settlement body not to adopt any ruling against New Delhi’s import duties on certain information and technology products till July 26 as both sides are engaged in resolving the matter, an official said.

The issue came up during a meeting of the dispute settlement body (DSB) in Geneva on April 26.

In the meeting, the two countries asked the DSB to delay consideration of a dispute panel’s reports until July 26 in order to help facilitate resolution of the disputes, the Geneva-based official said, adding that the body agreed to that. Earlier also, DSB had agreed to three previous requests from India and Chinese Taipei to delay consideration of the reports.

The panel’s ruling will have to be adopted by DSB for implementation within 60 days of the release of the order.

Reuters and PTI

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