To boost infrastructure and expand maritime partnerships with the West Asian countries in the strategically located Chabahar port, India has signed an MoU with Iran on mutual recognition of the seafarers’ code to conduct unlimited voyages. With this deal, India is looking at a trilateral maritime deal with Iran and Oman along with new venues of cooperation in the western Indian Ocean regions.
The contract will speed up activities of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) as well as prioritize the development of transit of goods through the Chabahar port. The Iranian counterparts have discussed the possibilities of unlocking trade potential between Central Asian Countries with South Asian, ASEAN and countries from the Far East – Korea and Japan.
Mr. Sonowal, Union Minister of Rail, Waterways, and Ports was in Iran to inaugurate the six mobile harbor cranes that would act as a force multiplier for the operations of the Shahid Beheshti port and fuel development of the Chabahar port. He added that the all-around efforts that have been taken in the previous years now provided an ideal platform for further expansion and unlocking the trade potential in the regional trade between Central Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia. An effort is going on to make the international north-south transport corridor the most preferred route of trade between the two regions.
The port closely works with IPGPL (India Ports Global Pvt Ltd) and has handled 4.8 million tonnes of bulk cargo at Shahid Beheshti Port, with trans-shipment of goods from countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Oman, Romania, Australia, Germany, Thailand, Russia, UAE, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. The port is expected to help unlock the huge trade potential in the region and India is interested to link the port with the INSTC for optimum use by the Central Asian states and other Eurasian states. The corridors are also expected to give an option parallel to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. There are also plans to link the INSTC with the Northern Sea Route via the resource-rich Russian Arctic.