India keen on stronger bonds with Oman, says envoy
Wednesday 02/August/2017 20:21 PM
By: Times News Service
Muscat: Residents in Oman will discover how India became one of the world’s fastest growing nations, as the Indian Embassy in the Sultanate gears up to celebrate the nation’s 70th Independence Day on August 15.
“We seem to have a fascination with round numbers, and to mark India’s 70th year of independence, the government has decided to celebrate this in a befitting fashion,” said Indra Mani Pandey, India’s ambassador to Oman.
“On that day, as well as throughout the rest of the year, we will be hosting cultural shows and seminars across the major cities of Oman to show the citizens and residents of this nation, not just the development India has achieved, but the challenges we face ahead of us as well.”
With the Government of India keen to strengthen relationships with the Sultanate—the two nations celebrated 60 years of diplomatic ties in 2015—shows and events will be held in Muscat, Sur, Nizwa, Sohar and Salalah, with performers and speakers travelling from India to generate awareness about the same.
“For the rest of the year, we have chosen these cities because they have the maximum number of Omanis and members of the Indian community, so we can reach out to a large population,” he added. “Elsewhere, we intend to utilise the local resources available in Oman to show people how the relationship between Oman and India has progressed.
“We will also be having a very famous painting exhibition, which will feature portraits of some of the two countries’ leaders, and chart the progress between the two nations, as well as have a painting competition for children,” said Pandey. “Seminars on culture, society and economy will be held, and we will be coordinating with the Indian schools and the Indian community to organise celebrations and raise awareness on India.”
With Oman looking to diversify its economy with the establishment of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Pandey is hoping Indian entrepreneurs can provide their expertise to help build them from the ground up.
“Our greatest asset is our people, because 65 per cent of our population is under the age of 35, and they have been successful in various fields, including medicine, science, IT and biotechnology,” he said. “These people are now leaders, who are appreciated throughout the world. India’s rise is being welcomed everywhere, and we are trying to bring India’s leaders and young entrepreneurs to Oman to help with the innovation and R&D.
“Our governments may have had relations for only 62 years, but ours is a relationship of the people: Indian settlers lived in the ancient settlement of Samharam in Oman more than 5,000 years ago, trading with Oman and across the Mediterranean Sea,” he added.
With India’s government having set developmental goals for the next five years, Pandey also urged the Indian community in Oman to contribute to their nation’s growth.
“This anniversary is one where Indians are being told to set a goal they wish to achieve in the next five years,” revealed Pandey. “By 2022, on the occasion of our 75th Independence Day, every individual should try to achieve that goal, whether it is personal, for their community, or even for their country.”