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India Seeks Exports Through Chabahar

India Seeks Exports Through ChabaharIndia Seeks Exports Through Chabahar

A senior Indian official stressed the importance of the Southern Iranian port of Chabahar for investment in various sectors, including the transit of India’s products to other countries FNA reported on Saturday.  Director General of the Indian Institute for Defense Studies Arvin Gupta underlined last week that the capabilities, capacities and unique location of Chabahar have prepared the ground for investors in the private sector in this port city.

Some plans are underway to build a petrochemical refinery and develop railway, the jetty, and the transit route, he said.

The Port of Chabahar is a seaport in southeastern Iran. Its location lies on the border of the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman. It is the only Iranian port with direct access to ocean. The port was partially built by India in the 1990s to provide access to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan.

The Chabahar port, located 72 kilometers west of Pakistan’s Gwadar port, holds immense strategic and economic significance for India. Chabahar and Gwadar ports are located in a common coast and they are 70 kilometers away from one another.

In July, Gholam Hossein Shafei, Head of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA), announced that Iran plans to turn the port into a trade hub in the near future.

“Those investing in the area will have a secure and promising prospect,” Shafei said in a meeting with Indian Ambassador to Tehran Shri Niraj Srivastava at the time.

“Iran plans to connect Mashhad railroad in northeastern Iran to the western Afghan province of Herat and launch development projects in Sarakhs Special Economic Zone in northeastern Iran,” he said.  Srivastava, for his part, described the Chabahar port as a key location for the promotion of Iran-India trade, saying, “New Delhi seeks to participate in development of the area.”

The diplomat said that India has allocated $300 million to invest in the development of the Chabahar port and that it plans to take part in development of the port’s railroads and shipping lines projects.

Iran Front Page quoted the Institute for Trade Studies and Research (ITSR) article by Amir-Reza Souri, on FDI in South Asia. Foreign Direct Investment in South Asia attracted $35.6 billion in 2013, a 10 percent growth over the year before. In West Asia, it had a downward spiral for the fifth year in a row due to tensions sweeping the region, and declined 8.6 percent to $44.2 billion in 2013. The overall foreign investment absorbed by South and West Asia surpassed $79.8 billion, a 1.5 percent drop over 2012.

A look at regional countries shows that India tops the list of countries with highest absorption of FDI. With a 17 percent rise over the previous year, India secured $28.2 billion in foreign investment in 2013. India which has opened its services sector to foreign investors and developed its retail industry claimed a 35.5 percent share of FDI in the region.

Financialtribune.com