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India and Oman have started talks on FTA

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NEW DELHI : India’s exports to Oman could soon get duty concessions with the two sides having begun talks for a Free Trade Agreement.

Mineral fuels, inorganic chemicals, compounds of precious metals and iron and steel are India’s top exports to Oman while oil, fertilisers and plastics are the top imports.

Officials said that the negotiations will be fast tracked and the pact could be on similar lines as the one with the UAE. India’s exports to Oman in April-September FY24 were $2 billion and imports were $2.1 billion.

“Discussions have started and the agreement would be a comprehensive one,” said an official. The government has identified petroleum products, gems and jewellery, engineering products, pharmaceuticals, cement and ceramic products, ready made textiles, and footwear as some goods with scope for more trade with Oman.

India could also push for fast tracking the approval for Indian pharma products that are already registered by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), UK drug regulator MHRA and European Medicines Agency, similar to a provision in its trade pact with the UAE. Both Oman and the UAE are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council with which India aims to ink a trade pact. Besides duty concessions, the commerce and industry ministry is also analysing non-tariff barriers and product-specific rules as part of the India-Oman Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations.

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