India to finalise FTA with Oman

India is poised to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Oman. Indian and Omani officials have prepared the necessary draft documents, and the process is ongoing. Once signed, the FTA with Oman will be the first significant bilateral agreement of Modi’s third term and the fourth since 2022. India signed an FTA with the United Arab Emirates on February 18, 2022, followed by another agreement with Australia on April 2 of that year. India is also negotiating FTAs with the United Kingdom, Peru, and the European Union.

The proposed agreement with Oman is expected to enhance India’s energy security and ensure a cheaper supply of fertilisers, in addition to boosting foreign investments. It will also help reduce the prices of Indian exports to Oman.

The FTA discussions gained momentum in December 2023 and the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was a key topic in their discussions. The official said the CEPA would boost both trade and investments. India and Oman have a long history of cooperation, built on people-to-people ties dating back centuries. The two countries, strategic partners since establishing diplomatic relations in 1955, have a robust bilateral trade and investment relationship. According to commerce ministry data, bilateral merchandise trade between the two countries grew by 82.64% annually in 2021-2022, reaching $9.99 billion, and rose to $12.39 billion in 2022-2023. In FY23, India exported goods worth $4.48 billion to Oman and imported merchandise worth over $7.9 billion.