A Tiger In Oman

Courtesy of The Financial Times, an interesting look at India’s efforts to cultivate emerging markets of its own, such as Oman.  As the article notes:

“…While Indian companies struggle to expand in neighbouring countries in south Asia, they are making considerable headway in the Gulf and Africa. Unlike their Chinese counterparts, many do so without government support.

New Delhi’s engagement with the Gulf country appears to be something of an exception. It has launched a “guns and butter” initiative we are likely to see more of in the years to come as India develops its own arms industry alongside its economic muscle.

In recent months, India has extended an invitation to the Omani army to train in India. It has also sent Indian-made assault rifles, for trials with an eye to future arms sales.

Alongside a hand of military friendship, New Delhi has despatched top officials to Muscat, Oman’s capital, headed by Manmohan Singh, the prime minister. Corporate India, meanwhile, has sent its out-sourcers and engineers with delegations from Larsen and Toubro, Punj Lloyd, Dynamic Logistics, Essar Group and Tata Consultancy Services.

Oman’s relationship with India traditionally hinged on the supply of oil to energy-starved India. New Delhi is desperate to change that, and has had success in fields like education, fertiliser and food. Bilateral non-oil trade which was less than $200m eight years ago, today stands at nearer $2.5bn.

Now the two countries are setting up joint investment funds across the Arabian Sea. Earlier this month, the State Bank of India and an Omani sovereign wealth fund created a joint fund with $100m seed capital. In time, this is expected to grow to $1.5bn and develop a focus on infrastructure investments.

This venture may encourage other such joint funds with big Gulf investors. Whether they will be preceded by the sale of rifles, viewed as inferior to Russian equivalents, is less assured.”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 at 8:55 am and is filed under India, Oman.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

Comments are closed.

Wildcats & Black Sheep is a personal interest blog dedicated to the identification and evaluation of maverick investment opportunities arising in frontier - and, what some may consider to be, “rogue” or “black sheep” - markets around the world.

Focusing primarily on The New Seven Sisters - the largely state owned petroleum companies from the emerging world that have become key players in the oil & gas industry as identified by Carola Hoyos, Chief Energy Correspondent for The Financial Times - but spanning other nascent opportunities around the globe that may hold potential in the years ahead, Wildcats & Black Sheep is a place for the adventurous to contemplate & evaluate the emerging markets of tomorrow.