Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

India, Iran sign long-term contract for operations at Chabahar port to boost regional connectivity


In an important milestone for India-Iran relations and to promote closer cooperation to make Chabahar Port a regional trade transit and connectivity hub, the two countries on Monday inaugurated the operationalization of Shahid-Beheshti Port Terminal in the presence of Indian Signed a long-term contract for. And Iranian ministers.

The Indian delegation to Iran was led by Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, while Minister for Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazarpash was present from the Iranian side.

During his visit to Tehran, Sonowal signed a new 10-year contract between India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) and the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran (PMO).

Under the contract, IPGL will commit to further equip and operate the port during the contract period. At the end of the 10-year period, both sides will further expand their cooperation in Chabahar.

IPGL will invest approximately USD 120 million in equipping the port. India has also offered an IN credit window equivalent to US$250 million for mutually identified projects aimed at improving Chabahar-related infrastructure.

Chabahar Port is an India-Iran flagship project that serves as an important transit port for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries, which are landlocked countries. India has been a major player in the development and operation of the Chabahar port.

The Government of India has invested in the port’s infrastructure and been involved in upgrading its facilities to make it a viable transit route for Indian goods to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

In August 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Johannesburg on the sidelines of the BRICS summit.

The two leaders discussed the pending long-term contract on Chabahar, and gave a clear political direction to finalize and sign the long-term contract.

Speaking at the meeting, Sarbananda Sonowal described it as a ‘historic milestone’ and stressed that it is “a symbol of the enduring trust and deep partnership between India and Iran.”

“Today, India and Iran have reached a historic milestone in their long-term relations, inspired by the visionary ideals of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. Under the leadership of PM Modi, the important agreement that began on 23 May 2016 is today culminating in a long-term contract, symbolizing the enduring trust and deep partnership between India and Iran”, Sonowal said in his meeting with Iranian Minister Mehrdad Bazarpash. Said during.

“Chabahar port is an India-Iran flagship project. Today, as we witness the signing of the long-term contract for the operation of the Shahid-Beheshti Port Terminal, I am confident that a firm, sustainable and long-term roadmap for the development of the port has been established”, he said.

In August 2022, Sarbananda Sonowal visited Chabahar Port in Iran to review the work progress and handed over six mobile harbor cranes to the Indian Ports Global Chabahar Free Trade Zone (IPGCFTZ) at the port.

During their meeting, the Indian Minister outlined India’s vision of making the port an international hub of connectivity and how it has continued its outreach with regional countries to expand trade and transit through the Chabahar port.

“We have continued our efforts to promote Chabahar port and facilitate transit. In 2022, India organized “Chabahar Day” in Mumbai with a focus on promoting closer cooperation between our countries and the wider region to enhance inter-regional trade and economic connectivity.

Sonowal further said how the port is serving an important transit port with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries and how India has helped landlocked Afghanistan.

“Chabahar port is serving as an important transit port for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries, which are landlocked countries. Afghanistan is going through difficult times. Over the past few years, we have supplied 85,000 MT of wheat and 200 MT of pulses as humanitarian food assistance. We also sent 40,000 liters of pesticide Malathion to Afghanistan through Chabahar port”, Sonowal said.

Terming the recent visit of a high-level delegation from Afghanistan to Chabahar port as ‘positive’, the Indian Minister underlined the need to facilitate trade for Afghanistan and help the Afghan people stand on their feet.

In 2022, India organized “Chabahar Day” in Mumbai with a focus on promoting closer cooperation between our countries and the wider region to enhance inter-regional trade and economic connectivity.

In January this year, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development during his visit to Iran and discussed setting up a “long-term cooperation framework” for Chabahar Port, a strategic maritime facility located on Iran’s southeast coast . ,

In a post on Twitter, Jaishankar said, “Began his engagements in Tehran by meeting Minister of Roads and Urban Development @mehrdadbazrpash. “Detailed and productive discussions on establishing a long-term cooperation framework with respect to Chabahar Port,” Jaishankar then said in a post on Twitter.

Their discussion also focused on the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

“Views were also exchanged on the International North-South Transport Corridor,” Jaishankar’s post said.

India’s vision is to make Chabahar port a transit hub under the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to reach CIS countries.

In August last year, PM Modi held talks with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and both the leaders reiterated their commitment to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, including realizing the full potential of Chabahar port as a connectivity hub.

“Both leaders reiterated their commitment to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, including realizing the full potential of Chabahar Port as a connectivity hub,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a press release.

Chabahar port located in Iran, a key component of India’s connectivity initiative, is of utmost importance as it provides a viable and short route for trade between India, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Chabahar is a deep-water port located in the Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran. It is the nearest Iranian port to India, and is located in the open sea, providing easy and safe access for large cargo ships.

During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Iran in May 2016, a trilateral agreement to establish an International Transport and Transit Corridor (Chabahar Agreement) was signed by India, Iran and Afghanistan.

India is participating in the development of the first phase of Shahid Behesti Terminal, Chabahar Port in collaboration with the Iranian Government.

So far, India has supplied 06 mobile harbor cranes (two 140 tonne and four 100 tonne capacity) and other equipment worth USD 25 million.

Indian company, India Ports Global Limited (IPGL), through its wholly owned subsidiary, India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ), took over the operations of Chabahar Port with effect from December 24, 2018.

Since then, it has handled over 90,000 TEU of container traffic and over 8.4 MMT of bulk and general cargo. The port has also facilitated the delivery of humanitarian aid, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, a total of 2.5 million tonnes of wheat and two thousand tonnes of pulses have been sent from India to Afghanistan through Chabahar port. In 2021, India supplied 40,000 liters of eco-friendly insecticide (malathion) to Iran to fight locust menace.

Earlier, the Indian Embassy in Iran had said in a post on Twitter, “Honourable Minister @SarbanandaSunwal had a fruitful meeting with his respected Iranian counterpart @mehrdadbazrpash. Discussions were held to pursue the shared vision of making Chabahar Port a regional connectivity hub connecting India with Afghanistan, Central Asia and Eurasia.



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