By developing strategic Chabahar Port in Iran, Indian will reduce logistics cost by 20 percent in container transport to CIS countries, bypassing China or Europe, Indian Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Lal Mandaviya stated.
He said so far, CIS countries could be reached only via China or Europe, the Economic Times reported.
"In a strategic development, loading and unloading of cargo have started at Chabahar Port. Container transport logistic costs to CIS countries will be reduced by 20 percent through Chabahar. So far, cargo to CIS countries from India could be sent only via China or Europe," Shipping Minister Mandaviya told.
CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Uzbekistan.
"If we want to send containers to CIS countries we can only send via Europe or China. There was no other connectivity with CIS countries. Now, we have developed Chabahar port and there is direct connectivity to these countries via Afghanistan," the minister said.
Iran has awarded the development project of its strategic southeastern port of Chabahar to India, and the South Asian country committed $500 million to build two new berths in this port.
In 2016, Iran, India, and Afghanistan decided to jointly establish a trade route for land-locked Central Asian countries.
India sent its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar Port back in 2017.
Later on, in February 2019, the Afghanistan-Iran-India trade corridor for the trade between the two countries through Chabahar Port was officially inaugurated.
Suez Canal to be replaced by Chabahar corridor
Managing Director of Chabahar Free Zone Organization Abdulrahim Kurdi said that Suez Canal will be replaced by the Chabahar corridor in the future, Mehr news agency reported.
He made the remarks on Sunday, noting that Iran is considered a terminal in the middle of the world due to its strategic geography.
He went on to say that Iran, especially from the port of Chabahar is capable of connecting east to west and north to south on a global scale.
Referring to the plans put forward by members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with a focus on the Russian port of Astrakhan, Kurdi maintained, “The project to replace the Suez Canal from Mumbai to Hamburg and St. Petersburg, which includes the Astrakhan, Anzali, Chabahar, and Nhava Sheva (India) will make a significant time difference for transiting goods, reducing it from 38 to 14 to 16 days.