External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today lauded the Indian community in Oman, saying their highly skilled service at a competitive cost has made them indispensable for the oil-rich Gulf nation’s economy.
“You have earned a reputation for being disciplined, hard-working and law-abiding. You are a microcosm of India, reflective of its vibrant diversity and its talents. We are proud of your achievements,” she said during interaction with the Indian community here.
Swaraj arrived here today on her first two-day official visit to Oman for talks with the Gulf nation’s top leadership and review bilateral political, economic, defence and security issues as well as the regional situation.
“The Indian diaspora has made us proud both by their contributions to the country of residence as also to their mother land India,” she said, referring to over seven lakh Indians who were working in Oman in various sectors.
“You all are the vital organic links between India and Oman,” she added, pointing out more than six decades of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The Indians form the largest expatriate group in Oman.
They also repatriate around USD 3 billion annually.
She said though Indian workers were employed in Oman in the 1990s as a result of the construction activities, gradually more and more professionals in the fields of finance, banking, insurance and IT have gained employment in the country.
“This transition is commensurate with Oman’s economy gaining momentum in the knowledge-based service sector. By providing highly skilled service at a competitive cost, our community’s role has become indispensable for the Omani economy,” she said.
Swaraj also lauded the Indians diaspora’s contribution to foreign exchange reserves. “India is a recipient of the largest global remittances sent by the expatriate populations anywhere in the world and the Gulf region is the largest source of these remittances for us,” she added.
Underlining the new Indian government’s commitment to development with transparency and good governance, Swaraj said, “We are striving to revive growth. The impact is already evident in the green shoots of recovery and a positive, even upbeat, business sentiment in the country.”
The minister said India firmly believes that overseas Indian must be a part of the India growth story.
“Our Government realises your potential to contribute not only to India’s economy but also to the international profile of India. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to each one of you for your contribution to strengthen our relations with Oman,” she said.
She also said that India was in continuous dialogue with the Omani Government on various matters concerning Indian community.