Chabahar Port crucial for trade in Central Asia: EAM Jaishankar
India has proposed the inclusion of Chabahar in the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) route
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that Iran’s Chabahar Port has established its credibility and relevance handling shipments and transshipments from countries like Russia, Brazil, Thailand, Germany, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking on the occasion of Chabahar Day at the Maritime India Summit 2021, Jaishankar said the shift in the fulcrum of global economic growth towards Asia is creating unprecedented opportunities for connectivity in the region. There is a huge infrastructure deficit in the region which needs to be met to fulfill the growing aspirations of our peoples, he said.
Referring to the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), Jaishankar said that it is an important trade corridor project, wherein India is partnering with 12 countries to establish an economic corridor for the benefit of our peoples. He said, India also welcomes the interest of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to join the multilateral corridor project.
The Minister added that establishing an eastern corridor through Afghanistan would maximize its potential. India has also proposed the inclusion of Chabahar in the INSTC route, he said.
India had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Iran in 2015 for development of the strategically located Chabahar Port that provides connectivity with landlocked Afghanistan and central Asian countries.
Jaishankar noted that the Chabahar port has not only emerged as a commercial transit hub for the region but also facilitated the delivery of humanitarian assistance, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The port is part of our shared commitment towards peace, stability and prosperity of the people of Afghanistan. India has utilized the Chabahar port to ship 75,000 MT of wheat as humanitarian food assistance to Afghanistan in September 2020,” he added.
Jaishankar said that the establishment and operations of India Ports Global Limited at Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar was the practical realisation of this important initiative.
He said, today’s event reflects India’s strong commitment to work together with all regional stakeholders to enhance connectivity in the region and to provide unhindered access to the sea to landlocked Central Asian countries through Chabahar.
The Minister said, today’s event also commemorates five years of the signing of the Tripartite Agreement on the establishment of a Trilateral Transport and Transit Corridor. He said that this agreement is a fitting tribute to the rich civilisational, cultural and trade links between India, Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia.