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India to Strengthen its Relationship with Oman for Duty Exemption

India to Strengthen its Relationship with Oman for Duty Exemption. The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) arranged a virtual business meeting with Oman on 28 January 2021 to connect jewellery manufacturers from India and prominent Oman retailers and wholesalers.

The event was attended by Ravi Shanker Goel, Second Secretary (Commerce) of the Indian Embassy in Muscat; Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary of Commerce & Industry, Government of India; Nasser Ashraf Al Balushi, Head of Gemological Department, Ministry of Commerce Investment and Trade Promotion; Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC; Mansukh Kothari, Convener, Events, GJEPC; Sabyasachi Ray, ED, GJEPC.

“This initiative will help Indian gem and jewellery manufacturers to understand the challenges, opportunities, market scenarios and tariffs in Oman,” said Ravi Shanker Goel, Second Secretary (Commerce) in the Indian Embassy in Muscat. India and Oman have a deep-rooted relationship with people, and our traditionally strong relationship has been upgraded to a strategic partnership in 2008. There has been a strong level of engagement between two countries. India’s gem and jewellery trade with Oman is insignificant, but there is ample potential for development.”

Mr. Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, stated, “In the past, given the geographical boundary, we have not made the desired efforts to explore the potential for trade between the two countries. Shifting business from physical to virtual platforms has presented us with a wonderful opportunity to regularly interact with Omani counterparts and recognize business opportunities. We hope that the India Global Connect meeting will allow us to achieve the desired objective of enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries, in particular for the gem and jewellery products.”

Colin Shah, Chairman of the GJEPC said, “The India-Oman bilateral trade pertaining to gems and jewellery is not significant. This is evident from the fact that Oman imports gold jewellery worth $431.52 million from the world. However, it imports gold jewellery worth just $2.51 million from India, accounting for 0.60% of the total. Our design sensibilities fit, and the Middle East accounts for 66% of India’s total gold jewellery exports, making it by far the largest market.”

Panelist from Oman included: Mr. Ismail Mohammed Adam Al-Saigh, Adams, Oman; Mr. Suresh Tanna, (Al-Nafish jewellery), Oman; Mr. Anoop (Sona Gold & Diamond), Oman; Mr. Riyaz, (Sea Pearl jewellery), Oman; Mr. Vatsal Soni, (Gulf jewellery House); Mr. Ahmad Majan, (Modern jewellery House), Oman.

Sharing the Indian perspective were Mr. Prakash Dhanak, Vijay Exports; Mr. Suvankar Sen (Senco Gold); Mr. K Srinivasan (Emerald Jewel Industries); Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC; Mr. Milan Chokshi (Moksh Jewellery).

Here are some main points from the discussion:
  • Omanis are deeply interested in their heritage and prefer traditional 22- or 21-karat gold jewellery made locally.
  • There is a great deal of commonality and a long-standing relationship between Oman and India, and there are significant opportunities to expand on this trade relationship.
  • Indian and Omani design aesthetics are almost identical, and there is a strong liking for India-made 22-karat gold jewellery.
  • Although the diamond jewellery market in Oman is small, it is expanding.
  • There’s not much price sensitivity about gold.
  • The native Omanis give more weight to the gold.
  • India is capable of producing any kind of jewellery that is specific to any market requirement.
  • India should step forward to sign a duty-exempt treaty with Oman so that Indian companies can export more jewellery effectively without having to route via Dubai. Oman also has similar deals with the United States and Singapore.
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Mines to Market
Prashant Rathod

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