PM Modi says on Chabahar Port Pact that India will provide ‘regional connectivity, trade and commerce’

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi called the Chabahar Port Pact between India and Iran an important milestone. He said the trilateral pact between India, Iran and Afghanistan was signed to provide much-needed connectivity to Afghanistan.

In an interview with PTI, Prime Minister Modi said that India will work to promote regional connectivity, trade and commerce not only through Chabahar port but also through the International North-South Transport Corridor as well as the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor.

In 2016, during my visit to Iran, the India-Iran-Afghanistan trilateral agreement was signed to provide much-needed connectivity to Afghanistan,” Prime Minister Modi said, adding that his government has been prioritizing Chabahar port since it came to power in 2014.

“An Indian company had taken over the operations a few years ago and since then it has been used by India to ‘provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, including wheat, pulses, pesticides and medical supplies’,” said the Prime Minister.

“The recent signing of the long-term agreement for the development of Chabahar port is an important milestone,” he said. “India will ensure that our efforts promote regional connectivity, trade and commerce, including to and from landlocked Afghanistan and the Central Asia region. This is also embedded in our vision to drive connectivity, including through the International North South Transport Corridor, as well as the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor.” Added PM Modes.

“In this era of globalization, connectivity plays an important role. Our aim is to provide connectivity, especially for the landlocked countries. I have always found great interest among the leaders of the Central Asian countries to use this port to access the sea and connect with India.” said Prime Minister Modi.

Chabahar Port Pact

India signed a 10-year deal with Iran to operate the Chabahar port on the Gulf of Oman, providing a gateway for Indian goods to landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia, through a road and rail project called International North-South Transport Corridor, bypassing Pakistan.

The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) includes 7,200 kilometers of sea, rail and road lines crossing numerous borders to help move goods from India to Russia via Iran as an alternative to the conventional Suez Canal route.

The agreement that replaced the original 2016 agreement was signed by Indian Ports Global Limited (IPGL) and the Port & Maritime Organization of Iran. IGPL would invest $120 million and raise $250 million as debt