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Proposal for inclusion of Chabahar into the INSTC: A game-changer for India’s export logistics

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India’s proposal of including the Chabahar port in the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) route will unearth golden opportunities for the country and may prove to be a monumental step for India’s export logistics, if all goes well.

India has proposed the inclusion of Chabahar Port in the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) route, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday in his address on ‘Chabahar Day’ at the Maritime India Summit.

Mr Jaishankar has also expressed hope that the member-states associated with INSTC will approve expanding membership of this project.

The minister said that the global shift of economic growth towards Asia is leading to unmatched opportunities for connectivity in the region.

He also stated that the marking of Chabahar Day by India reflects its unrelenting commitment to enhancing regional connectivity.

Mr Jaishankar said India has also proposed the inclusion of Chabahar in the INSTC route.

“We also welcome the interest of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to join the multilateral corridor project. Establishing an eastern corridor through Afghanistan would maximize its potential,” the minister said.

“I am hopeful that during the INSTC Coordination Council meeting, member-states would agree to the expansion of the INSTC route to include the Chabahar Port and also agree on expanding the membership of this project”, he added.

The International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC)

The INSTC is a key trade corridor project, in which India is partnering with 12 countries to establish an economic corridor.

The Corridor is a 7,200-km multi-mode transport project to move freight among India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

The growing importance of the Chabahar Port

Chabahar Port lies outside the Persian Gulf and is easily accessed from India’s western coast, bypassing Pakistan.

The port, which is located in Sistan-Balochistan province on Iran’s southern coast, is being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan to enhance trade ties.

Mr Jaishankar highlighted that the Chabahar port has not only emerged as a commercial transit hub for the region but also facilitated delivery of humanitarian assistance, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The location of the Chabahar port has strategic advantage and high potential to provide connectivity among India, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and other Commonwealth of Independent States countries, and boost trade.

In a bid to boost trade at Chabahar port in Iran, Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Deendayal Port are offering discounts on the vessel and cargo charges, as per the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.

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