MUMBAI: Indian Ambassador to Islamic Republic of Iran, Shri Saurabh Kumar, IFS visited Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust(JNPT) and met with JNPT Senior Management and other stakeholders to discuss ways and means of boosting trade between the two countries.
Shri Saurabh Kumar was welcomed by Shri Neeraj Bansal, IRS, Chairman in-Charge, JNPT and other senior officials. Shri Kumar visited the port facilities and appreciated the trade-friendly steps introduced by the JNPT in the last few years.
Strategically located, Chabahar Port can function as the gateway from India to Iran, Afghanistan and Euroasian region. Transport time from Chabahar to these countries will get reduced to 25-30 days from the current 40 to 60 days and the cost of transport too will come down by about 30 per cent.
Explaining the merits of increasing trade through the Chabahar Port, Shri Kumar said,” The infrastructure facilities at Chabahar is world class and the trade traffic needs to be increased to make use of these facilities.
With Governments of India and Iran keen on developing Chabahar, the Port can emerge as a crucial link to boost trade to Iran and other parts of the World”.
Both ports need to plan on sustaining traffic to enhance trade between both countries. Chabahar Port will inaugurate by beginning of December 2017. Iran is persistently developing and there is huge business opportunity for transport corridor. Generating traffic for Chabahar Port will give access to Afghanistan and Central Asia to contribute development. Indian Private sector too can look at Chabahar as an investment option, Shri Kumar added.
Calling upon various stakeholders to benefit from the logistical advantages of Chabahar, Shri Bansal said, “The shifting of cargo from the existing routes to Chabahar for faster movement at lower costs will increase trade between Iran and India and Chabahar can also be used as a gateway to neighbouring region”.
JNPT and Deendayal Port will be looking to extend all possible maritime cooperation and relationship between the two countries. Both countries have huge stake in promoting Chabahar Port.
We need to strengthen our port sector and maritime sector for economic benefits of India, Iran, Afghanistan as well as many countries in the Central Asia, Shri Bansal added.
Many stakeholders who interacted with Shri Kumar and JNPT officials observed that the Government can incentivise the trade by attractive tariff structure so that cargo volume picks up rapidly. They also urged the authorities to further improve infrastructure so that shipping lines start bringing more ships through Chabahar. Representatives from Shipping Corporation of India, Export-Import Bank, Shreyas Transworld Shipping, J.M. Baxi Group, Navakar Corporation and FIEO among others attended the stakeholder meet.
A high level Iranian delegation who were part of INSTC convention along with FFFAI also visited JNPT. The Iranian delegation was led by Mr Kazem, IRU and several members representing different industries in Iran. The INSTC/TIR Convention could be an instrument for movement of goods along the International "North-South" Transport (INSTC) Corridor and would be helpful in boosting trade with the Central Asian Republics and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), particularly using ports in Iran like the Chabahar port. The delegation from IRU /TIR along with ICCIMA appreciated the port facilities at JNPT and observed that both Iran and India enjoy good bi-lateral ties and could prosper further with more trade.