India, Arab partnership will stand test of time: Akbar
Muscat [Oman], Dec. 14 (ANI): Minister of State for External Affairs, M.J. Akbar has said that the partnership between India and the Arab world is based on enormous goodwill and cooperation that has stood the test of time and will continue to do so in the years to come.
Addressing the 5th India-Arab Partnership Conference in Muscat, Oman, Akbar said, "Our indigenous relationship flourished because it was built in peace – the peace of equals."
The minister said governments are best when they act as enablers and pave the way for their citizens to find one another.
"There are 700 flights a week between India and the UAE alone! Our annual bilateral trade has crossed USD 184 billion – it is more than percent of India's global trade. India's energy security pillar is the Gulf and West Asia. The Maghreb is our major source of phosphates and fertilizers," Akbar said.
He said India and Oman have a relationship that can be a model, and added that it is a friendship which defines a neighbour, not proximity or distance.
Akbar said that historical maritime trade and cultural exchanges, spanning over 5000 years, have evolved over the past seven decades into a strategic partnership between India and Oman.
Asserting that the relationship between India and Oman has been sustained by mutual trust, he said it is based on shared values, common interests and respect for each other's concerns and priorities.
He stated that apart from extensive defence and security co-operation and people-to-people exchanges, bilateral trade and investment are key pillars of the India-Oman bilateral partnership.
The minister said that there are around 3000 joint ventures between Indian and Omani partners in Oman with a total investment of around USD 7.5 billion, which tells their own story.
"We are capable of taking command of the 21st century. If the 20th century was the century of invention, the 21st will be the century of reinvention," Akbar said.
He said, India is poised to become the world's manufacturing hub and it is already a hub for research and development, innovation as well as technology start-ups.
"The Indian start-up industry has over 20,000 companies, creating over 80 billion dollars of value, employing nearly 3,25,000 people," the minister said.
Akbar said that Indian software start-ups and entrepreneurs are rapidly emerging and beginning to make their mark globally.
"India is preparing itself for transformation under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi through sweeping changes in regulatory and administrative reforms," he said.
Asserting that India has the talent at every level of human resource needed for the new economy, Akbar said, "We want the world to "Make in India".
He said that there is need for partnership in security, and there is substantial space for co-operation in both conventional instruments of security as well as new approaches as in cyber security.
Akbar said that India welcomes a dialogue that is backed by ability, need, confidence and confidentiality.
The minister expressed his gratitude to the hosts Government of Oman, the Arab League and the esteemed Chambers of Commerce of the Arab countries for the excellent arrangements made by them for this conference and gracious hospitality extended to him and the members of his delegation. (ANI)