The relations of Oman and India, that go back thousands of years, will get a boost with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the sultanate on February 11.

Never before has the Indian community in Oman been so excited about their prime minister’s visits as it is now. Elaborate arrangements and preparations are under way to welcome PM Modi by the Indian diaspora in the sultanate, which is testament to his immense popularity as the leader of the 21st century India.

One to keep a personal tab on the progress of the nation as well chart new territories, PM Modi has been the bulwark behind India’s current ascendancy on the world stage.

PM Modi has asserted Indian interests in a way that few had anticipated when he had assumed office a little more than three years ago. He has upped India’s profile in global affairs, something even his critics will have to give him credit for.

Where in the past Indian diplomacy was responding to the tectonic shifts in global politics by stealth, the Modi government has been unabashed in changing India’s foreign policy trajectory.

The secret of PM Modi’s success lies in his ability to define and control the political narrative. His ability to dream and think big, and question conventional political wisdom, which sometime mean taking high risks that may backfire, has rewarded him in equal measure.

PM Modi is a great orator and excels in communicating to large crowds during his speeches, and not just during elections. His speeches are spectacles and it will be no different in Muscat when he greets thousands of eager Indian expatriates at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher on the evening of February 11.

Before he embarks on his Oman tour, PM Modi will be in UAE on February 10 where he will be hosted by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al Nahyan. There will be discussions with him and usual signing and exchange of agreements.

Next morning on February 11, Prime Minster will travel to Wahat al Karama which is a memorial that UAE has very recently made in tribute to martyred UAE soldiers in the first war on Tunb Island in 1971.

After that PM Modi will attend the Sixth World Government Summit in Dubai, in which India participates as a Guest of Honour country, where he will make a key note address focusing on ‘Technology for Development’.

The summit will provide a platform for engaging with world community, which comes soon after his visit to Davos, in terms of providing the world as to what his government’s vision in terms of bringing in technology for the development of the nation and its people is.

This will be PM Modi’s first visit to Oman, which is a very important strategic partner of India. Regular high-level visits and exchanges have been a key feature of this partnership. Ministerial level visits during 2017 included the visit of Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs to New Delhi in April 2017 and India’s Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture to Muscat in December 2017.

India and Oman have been cooperating on security matters, including counter-terrorism. The defence cooperation, characterised by joint military exercises and regular exchange of visits, has also been growing. It is hoped that India-Oman cooperation will reach new heights this year.

The economic and commercial relations between India and Oman remain robust and buoyant. Bilateral trade has returned to its upward trend and its value increased from US$3.8bn in 2015-16 to US$4bn in 2016-17. It has already crossed US$3.76bn during April-October 2017 and is likely to reach US$5bn during the year ending March 2018.

India today is the largest, most diverse and, perhaps, the most vibrant democracy of the world, with about 1.3bn Indians working together to fulfill their aspirations. The economy has been growing at a pace of over seven per cent; it has emerged as the fastest growing major economy of the world. A series of flagship initiatives and financial reforms being undertaken by Modi government have significantly improved the business environment of India. These reforms and initiatives are aimed at transforming the country and making a New India.

Source: Muscat Daily

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