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Chabahar Day Celebrations: India focuses on Central Asia relations

31 July was designated Chabahar Day in Mumbai by the Ministry of Port, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW) to commemorate the Chabahar – Link to International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) – Connecting Central Asian Markets. According to the MoPSW press release, Sonwal mentioned in his talk that India’s ambition is to turn Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar into a transit centre and connect it to INSTC to reach out to Central Asian countries.

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KEY POINTS:

  • Sarbananda Sonowal stated that India anticipates enterprises and logistics firms taking use of the Shahid Beheshti Port and Chabahar Free Trade Zone‘s incentives.
  • According to the statement, the Union Minister further invited all representatives and stakeholders to submit ideas to further cut down on transit time and costs in order to create a more affordable, expedited, and dependable route from India to Iran and Central Asia.
  • The announcement stated that during the occasion, the representatives from the Central Asian nations highlighted how the connection between Chabahar and INSTC may significantly increase EXIM trade in their regions and have the ability to further accelerate development in the landlocked nations.

Importance of Chabahar Port for India:

  • A crucial component of India’s India-Pacific strategy to link Eurasia with the Indian Ocean region is the Chabahar Port.
  • Additionally, the port will be a component of India’s International North-South Transport Corridor. India’s goal and project, the INSTC (International North-South Transport Corridor), aim to shorten the time it takes for EXIM goods to penetrate the markets of central Asia, Europe, and Russia.
  • The region, notably Central Asia, has its commercial transit hub at Iran’s Chabahar Port.
  • Notably, the eastern portion of the North-South railway corridor was officially inaugurated when the first rail transit cargo from Russia to India entered Iran recently through the Sarakhs border crossing.
  • Trade between Russia and India will grow thanks to the International North-South Transport Corridor. This 7200 km trade route uses a multi-mode network of roads, ships, and railways to carry freight. Through Iran and Azerbaijan, this route links Russia with India.
  • The corridor aims to cut the travel time from 40 days to under 20 days and the transportation costs between India and Russia by roughly 30%.
  • The INSTC’s original founding members are Iran, India, and Russia. In 2002, the deal was inked.

Member states of the INSTC project:

  • India, Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Turkey, Syria, and Ukraine are among the 13 nations that make up the INSTC initiative.
  • As the Observer State, Bulgaria. Latvia and Estonia, two Baltic nations, have also expressed a desire to join the INSTC.
  • India expresses interest in inviting nations like Afghanistan and Uzbekistan to join INSTC.

Attendees:

  • Minister of State, MoPSW, Shripad Yesso Naik
  • Ambassador-Republic of Kazakhstan: Nurlan Zhalgasbayev
  • Ambassador- Kyrgyzstan: Asein Isaev
  • Ambassador Tajikistan: Lukmon Bobokalonzoda
  • Ambassador, Turkmenistan: Shalar Geldynazarov
  • Ambassador- Uzbekistan: Dilshod Akhatov
  • Deputy of Port and economic affairs of PMO: Jalil Eslami
  • Consul General (CG), Afghanistan: Zakia Wardak
  • Consul General of the Islamic Republic of Iran: Dr AM Alikhani
  • Advisor to the minister & head of the centre for international affairs of ministry of Road and Urban Development, Iran: Masoud Ostad Hossein
  • Chairman, Indian Ports Association: Rajeev Jalota
  • MD, IPGL: Sunil Mukundan

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