India-Oman Strategic Dialogue


The 8th India-Oman Strategic Dialogue recently took place in India. Both nations stressed the need to work together to combat the challenges posed by terrorism, terrorist propaganda, misuse of cyberspace, and new and emerging technology.

They both agreed that the next session of the strategic conversation would take place in Oman in 2024.

What are the Dialogue's Highlights?

Both parties emphasized the significant emphasis given by the leaders of both nations to advancing their strategic partnerships based on mutual respect and trust.
Numerous topics of shared interest were discussed, including bilateral strategic and security cooperation, defence, and regional security.
Both parties emphasized the significance of maintaining maritime safety and security in the area.
Both parties emphasized the strategic conversation as a key tool for fostering bilateral relations between India and Oman.

What Are the Important Aspects of the India-Oman Relationship?

Backstory :

Geographically, historically, and culturally, the two nations across the Arabian Sea are linked and enjoy close and friendly ties, which may be ascribed to past maritime trading links.
The Sultanate of Oman is a significant interlocutor for India in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Arab League, and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) fora.
Late HM Sultan Qaboos received the Gandhi Peace Prize 2019 in appreciation of his leadership in building connections between India and Oman and his efforts to promote peace in the Gulf region.

Defence Relations:

JMCC (Joint Military Cooperation Committee):

The Joint Military Commission (JMCC) is the highest level of collaboration between India and Oman in the defence realm.

The JMCC is scheduled to convene yearly. However, this was only possible in 2018, when the 9th JMCC met in Oman.

Military Exercises:

Army Exercises: Al Najah
Air Force drill: Eastern Bridge 
Naval drill: Naseem Al Bahr

Economic and commercial ties:

Economic cooperation between India and Oman is overseen through institutional institutions such as the Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) and the Joint Business Council (JBC).
India is one of Oman's most important commercial partners.
After China, India will be the second-largest market for Oman's crude oil exports in 2022.
India is also the fourth largest market for Oman's non-oil exports in 2022, behind the UAE, the United States, and Saudi Arabia, and the second largest source of imports after the UAE.
Indian firms have invested in Oman in industries such as iron & steel, cement, fertilizers, and textiles.
The India-Oman Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF), a joint venture between the State Bank of India and the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of Oman, has begun operations as a special-purpose vehicle to invest in India.

Oman's Indian Community:

Oman has around 6.2 lahks Indians, of which approximately 4.8 lahks are workers and professionals. There have been Indian families in Oman for more than 150-200 years.

What is the strategic importance of Oman to India?

Oman is located near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz, where India imports one-fifth of its oil.
Defence cooperation has emerged as a critical component of the India-Oman strategic alliance. A Framework Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), recently updated in 2021, governs defence interactions.
Oman is the only country in the Gulf area with whom all three services of the Indian armed forces undertake frequent bilateral exercises and staff discussions, allowing for professional collaboration and confidence.
Oman also takes part in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).
India has obtained access to the vital Port of Duqm in Oman for military usage and logistical assistance in a strategic effort to expand its presence in the Indian Ocean area. This is an important aspect of India's marine policy to counter Chinese influence and activity in the region.
The Port of Duqm is located on Oman's southeastern coast, overlooking the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
It is conveniently placed near the Iranian port of Chabahar. Duqm fits into India's proactive maritime security programme, with Assumption Island in Seychelles and Agalega in Mauritius.

The Future Perspectives - 

India needs more energy resources to meet its present and future energy needs. The rapidly increasing demand for energy has contributed to the necessity for long-term energy cooperation with nations such as Oman.
Duqm Port in Oman is located in the heart of international trade channels connecting East and West Asia.
India must connect with Oman and take measures to capitalize on prospects created by the Duqm Port industrial development.
India also should collaborate closely with Oman to increase strategic depth in the area and lend weight to its Indo-Pacific vision in the Western and Southern Indian Oceans.








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