Chabahar port project pact to be inked during PM’s Iran trip
The contract will be signed between Indian Ports Global Pvt Ltd and Arya Banader of Iran.
Documents on EXIM bank line of credit of $150 million to Iran, including for the port, will be signed as well, Gopal Baglay, Joint Secretary (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran) said here on Friday.
The trilateral Agreement using Chabahar-Zahedan-Zaranj as a corridor will be a game-changer for regional connectivity, especially for Afghanistan to find an assured and reliable alternative access to India via sea. The route will also significantly enhance prospects for India’s connectivity with Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond through synergies with other initiatives such as North South Transport Corridor.
There is interest in Indian public and private sector to invest in Chabahar FTZ, as also in railway
projects in Iran. Signing of the contract for Chabahar will be the highlight of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Iran during which he will meet Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. He said that the Indian investment in the Phase-1 of the project would be in excess of $200 million.
“The visit of Prime Minister to Iran will mainly focus on connectivity and infrastructure, energy partnership with Iran, boosting bilateral trade, promoting regular consultation on peace and stability particularly in our region and extended neighbourhood and encouraging people to people contract,” he said.
Chabahar in Southeast Iran will help circumvent Pakistan and open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where New Delhi has developed close security ties and economic interests.
India and Iran had in 2003 agreed to develop Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman outside the Strait of Hormuz, near Iran’s border with Pakistan. However, the project could not be fast-tracked because of western sanctions against Iran. The sanctions were lifted in January and since then India has been pushing for conclusion of an agreement.