India and Iran signed on Wednesday an agreement that would enable India to investment in Chabahar Port development, situated on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran’s border with Pakistan.
The deal paves way for the two countries to determine the terms of a commercial contract for the investment.
The Government of India assigned USD 100 million for upgrading the port of Chabahar in Iran, the final objective being trade boost with Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries.
However, the deal, which dates back to 2013 has had little progress so far due to economic sanctions imposed on Iran.
The investment underlies development of a multiple-use cargo jetty and two container terminals that would decrease transport costs of Indian goods by around 30 % when compared to the country’s other waterways.
India’s decision is said to be triggered by the upcoming agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, which is expected to be reached between Iran and world powers in June. The talks between Iran and the EU are scheduled to resume on May 12, whereas the P5+1 group of world powers — the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany -are expected to join the talks on May 15.
The Port of Chabahar is the only Iranian port with direct access to the ocean. It is located in southeastern Iran and has access to both the Oman sea and the Persian (Arabian) Gulf. India helped build the port in the 90ies, as it provides access to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan.
World Maritime News Staff