|‘Iran’s Chabahar port holds key to boost Indo-Afghan trade ties’||
India’s trade with Afghanistan could take a quantum leap from the current $600 million if the Chabahar port in Iran is commissioned soon.
The port will shorten the distance for transporting goods between the three countries, said Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India, Shaida Mohammad Abdali.
In an exclusive interview with Business Line, Abdali said that with his country being re-built after three decades of war, it has several business opportunities in store for Indian companies. The port holds the key to higher trade between the two countries, he added.
Incidentally, a draft trilateral transitory agreement has already been formulated and is awaiting the final clearance.
The port will provide a new route between Central Asia and South Asia, and help Indian companies reach newer markets in Central Asia, he said.
The port is considered strategically important for India’s exports to the landlocked Afghanistan.
All three countries have an agreement on preferential treatment and low tariff for goods moved through Chabahar. Experts see India’s move to support Chabahar as a strategy to counter China’s recent takeover of the Gwadar port in Pakistan, 70 km away from Chabahar.
Abdali said that according to a study, emerging opportunities in Afghanistan and the new connectivity offered by Chabahar could see trade between the two countries jump from $600 million to $5 billion over three years.
India has already committed about $100 million for port development infrastructure, he said. While Afghanistan offers a number of opportunities in constructing highways, power plants and railways, Abdali said mineral resources such as iron ore, gold, precious stones, coal and gas need to be tapped.
(Source: Hindu Business Line)
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|Last Updated on 27 June 2014 17:10|