Muscat: Oman-India Joint Investment Fund, a special purpose vehicle for promoting joint investment in projects in India, will complete deploying its first tranche of $100 million in the coming months, Indian Ambassador to the Sultanate J.S. Mukul told a business seminar on Wednesday.
The investment fund was formed in 2011 by the State Bank of India (SBI) and the State General Reserve Fund of Oman (SGRF).
Addressing the India Business Seminar, he said that the investment partnership between India and Oman is reflected through operation of hundreds of joint ventures and are valued at $7.5 billion, out of which the Indian contribution was $4.5 billion. "Among these joint ventures, the $1 billion Oman-India Fertiliser Company in Sur is the flag-bearer of India's investments abroad. Similarly, Oman has made significant investments in the $2.4 billion Bharat-Oman Refinery at Bina, Madhya Pradesh in India," added the ambassador.
He also said that a couple of ferro-chrome joint ventures in Sohar are in the pipeline.
Saying that Indian companies in Oman are doing well, Mukul noted that Larsen & Toubro, Simplex, KEC and TCIL have won mega construction projects valued at over $1 billion in the Sultanate this year.
Mukul also said that the bilateral trade has doubled during the last five years and is presently in the range of $5 billion per annum.
According to preliminary data from India, for the first seven months of the current fiscal year, the volume of bilateral trade is on course to register further growth. Oman is a sought after destination of Indian exports, for Omani businessmen, India has emerged for the first time (in 2012) as the top-most destination for Omani non-oil exports.
The Omani business interest in India is also reflected in the 15-16 per cent compounded growth rate in the number of Indian visas issued by the Embassy in Muscat in recent years.