Indian Prime Minister Modi in talks with Sultan Qaboos in Muscat on Sunday. Image Credit: PTI

Muscat: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday wrapped up his two-day state visit to Oman, after holding wide-ranging discussions on Sunday evening with Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed.

During his audience with Modi at Bait Al Barkah palace, Sultan Qaboos praised the contribution of “honest and hard-working” Indian nationals to the development of Oman. At the end of his visit, Modi tweeted: “This Oman visit is one I will cherish for a long time to come.”

Modi also held meetings with Fahd Bin Mahmoud Al Saeed, Deputy Prime Minister for Council of Ministers of Oman and Asad Bin Tariq Al Saeed, Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs.

The two sides signed eight cooperation agreements in the defence, health and tourism sectors. Modi said his dialogue with Oman’s top leadership will impart a “substantial momentum” to all spheres of bilateral ties.

Some of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) signed by the two sides include agreements on mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, special, service and official passports; on legal and judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters; and on cooperation between the Foreign Service Institute of India’s Ministry of External Affairs, and Oman, among others. The two countries also agreed to enhance cooperation on maritime security in the Gulf and Indian Ocean regions.

During the second day of his visit, Modi joined the India-Oman business meet, amid talks about India’s economic prowess and the investment opportunities in the country. He also held a meeting with leading businessmen and investors at the forum.

The volume of trade between the two countries is expected to reach $5.5 billion this year, according to Indra Mani Pandey, India’s envoy to Oman. Investment flows in both directions have been robust, as reflected in numerous joint ventures.

Indian investment, worth about $1.17 billion in Oman is envisaged in Duqm SEZ, Sohar freezone and Salalah freezone. The Oman-India Joint Investment Fund has fully invested an initial corpus of $100 million in India and has raised another $220 million for the second tranche, which is being invested in the country, said the Indian envoy.

Earlier, addressing the Indian diaspora at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Sunday, Modi reiterated that the ties between India and Oman remain robust. He addressed a gathering of over 18,000 to 20,000 Indians at the complex, an official from the Indian Embassy told Gulf News. There were over 28,000 registrations for the community address event, reported the official.