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Oman Free Trade Agreement Set to Boost Indian Apparel Exports

Published: December 30, 2023

The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) declared on Thursday that a free trade agreement with Oman would significantly enhance apparel exports, given the enormous opportunities for Indian exporters in the Gulf nation. Negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries are progressing swiftly. The AEPC views this expedited movement towards a bilateral trade pact as encouraging and expects it to be a game changer for India-Oman trade relations.

In 2022-23, bilateral trade between India and Oman reached USD 12.39 billion, a significant increase from USD 9.99 billion the previous year. Notably, Indian readymade garments (RMG) exports surged from USD 13 million in 2020 to USD 28 million in 2021. Currently, Oman imposes a 5% customs duty on RMG products. However, the elimination of tariffs post-FTA is anticipated to propel growth in this small but promising market, serving as another gateway to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

To further bolster exports, India has planned the BHARAT TEX EXPO 2024, scheduled to take place from February 26-29 next year. In pursuit of this objective, the AEPC organized a roadshow on December 15 in Bengaluru to attract domestic industry participation. Naren Goenka, Chairman of AEPC, reassured brand representatives and sourcing teams of the sustainable practices adopted by Indian manufacturers across all Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) parameters. This event will underscore India’s preparedness in terms of compliance, product focus, quality, and government and policy support, projecting the nation’s manufacturing capabilities to the world.

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