India will send a high-level delegation to Chabahar in Iran early next year to boost its presence in the strategically located port that it sees as an economic gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia
India will send a high-level delegation to Chabahar in Iran early next year to boost its presence in the strategically located port that it sees as an economic gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia. This followed talks between India, Iran and Uzbekistan on joint use of Chabahar Port on Tuesday. India said that the Indian company, India Ports Global Limited (IPGL), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ), has taken over the operations of the Chabahar Port w.e.f. 24.12.2018.
Since then, it has handled 160 vessels, 14,420 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) and 3.2 million tons of bulk and general cargo. The Shahid Behesti Terminal, Chabahar Port, has handled shipments and trans-shipments from various countries including Russia, Brazil, Thailand, Germany, Ukraine, Oman, Romania, Bangladesh, Australia, Kuwait, Uzbekistan and UAE.
At the Second Trilateral Working Group Meeting between the three nations, held in virtual format, the Indian side made a presentation on the operations of Chabahar Port.
The participants underlined the important role played by Chabahar Port during humanitarian crises as well as in enhancing regional connectivity.
They also took note of the increase in transit traffic between Central Asia and South Asia through the Shahid Behesti Terminal, Chabahar Port, and discussed further development of the transportation corridor.
On the invitation of the Iranian side, the Indian side agreed to send a high-level delegation to Chabahar next year.
According to Iranian news agency Irna, the Iranian Deputy Minister of Road and Urban Development Ali-Akbar Safaei said on Tuesday that Iran welcomes Uzbekistan’s decision to invest in the development of Chabahar port. Uzbekistan’s joining the Chabahar Agreement will pave the way for transit of goods between India, Iran and Uzbekistan, the official said.
Noting that enforcement of the Chabahar Agreement has significantly increased port traffic in Chabahar over the past few years, Safaei said that the port will become more active with the all-out cooperation of India, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries.
Located in southeastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman, it serves as Iran's only oceanic port, and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti, each of which has five berths. It is only about 170 km west of the Pakistani port of Gwadar, that is being developed by China.
The importance of Chabahar Port to India lies in the fact that the Chabahar route will result in 60 per cent reduction in shipment costs and 50 per cent reduction in shipment time from India to Central Asia.(SAM)