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India, Oman to focus on bilateral investment

India and Oman are exploring wider areas of cooperation in the field of petro-based downstream projects.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2006 12:00 IST

India and Oman are exploring wider areas of cooperation in the field of petro-based downstream projects, pharmaceuticals, metals, IT and education, Minister of Chemicals, Fertilisers and Steel Ram Vilas Paswan has said.

Paswan, who is on a visit to Oman in connection with the opening of the $969 million Oman-India fertilizer project, said there are a lot of opportunities for bilateral investment.

"We are looking at downstream opportunities in Sohar (industrial port), pharmaceuticals, metals, IT and education," he told reporters in Muscat on Sunday.

New Delhi has also sought the assistance of the Sultanate for fast-track registration of Indian medicines, Paswan said.

"The possibilities of joint ventures for manufacture of bulk actives as well as dosage forms were also touched upon," in separate meetings with Omani officials, he said.

Moreover, the possibilities of technical co-operation between Omani and Indian pharmaceutical companies and collaborative work for skill development through the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) were mentioned, Indian officials said.

While there was demand for iron ore in the Sultanate due to the impending 1.5-million-tonne Shadeed Iron and Steel Project, Paswan said India would export its ore only after meeting domestic requirements.

"India has 27 billion tonnes of iron ore reserves. We have already curtailed the amount of iron ore being exported. However, since the Indian companies do not take the ore which has less than 65 per cent iron content, I see no harm in exporting that," the Minister said.

First Published: Jan 30, 2006 12:00 IST