Lost your password?
Don't have an account? Sign Up

India developing Chabahar Port holds ‘great value’ to landlocked Central Asian states: PM Modi

Share This News Story:

NEW DELHI : The progress made by India in developing Iran’s Chabahar Port not only holds “great value” to landlocked Central Asian states but also “de-risks” commerce between India and Eurasia, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said on Thursday.

External Affairs Minister Shri S Jaishankar, who is in Astana to attend the SCO Summit, delivered Modi’s remarks at the extended format meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of State in the Kazakh capital.

He also said, “While standing resolute on challenges, it is equally important to actively and collaboratively explore avenues of progress. The current global debate is focused on creating new connectivity linkages that would better serve a rebalanced world.”

“If this is to gather serious momentum, it requires the joint efforts of many. It must also be respectful of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and be built on the foundation of non-discriminatory trade and transit rights to neighbours.”

“For the SCO extended family, we flag the progress made on Chabahar port recently through a long-term agreement between India and Iran. This not only holds great value to landlocked Central Asian states but also de-risks commerce between India and Eurasia,” he said.

The Chabahar port on the Gulf of Oman – which India proposed to develop way back in 2003 – will provide Indian goods with a gateway to reach landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia using a road and rail project called the International North-South Transport Corridor, bypassing Pakistan.

US sanctions on Iran over its suspected nuclear programme had slowed the development of the port.

In May, India signed a 10-year contract to operate the strategic Iranian port of Chabahar which will help it expand trade with Central Asia.

Chabahar port was last year used by India to send 20,000 tonnes of wheat aid to Afghanistan. In 2021, the same was used to supply environmentally friendly pesticides to Iran.

This is the first time India will take over the management of an overseas port that will also have a multiplier effect on trade among India, Iran and Afghanistan as efforts continue to directly tap the potential in Central Asia, bypassing neighbouring Pakistan.

India has been developing a part of the Chabahar Port and discussions on the development of the port date back to 2003 during Iranian President Muhammad Khatami’s visit to India.

Chabahar is an oceanic port. By leveraging Chabahar Port, India aims to bypass Pakistan and establish direct access to Afghanistan and beyond, into Central Asia.

Kandla port in Gujarat is the closest to the Chabahar port at 550 nautical miles while the distance between Chabahar and Mumbai is 786 nautical miles.

Share This News Story: