Saturday, 13 June 2015

INSTC - International North-South Transport Corridor

Why in news?
13 members of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) recently reviewed the status of the dry run study between India, Iran and Russia via the Caspian Sea.
  • The dry run between Nhava Sheva (Mumbai) – Bandar Abbas (Iran) – Baku (Azerbaijan) and Nhava Sheva – Bandar Abbas (Iran) – Amirabad (Iran) – Astrakhan (Russia) via the Caspian Sea was conducted in August last year.
The Foreign Trade Policy of India, 2015-20, has also highlighted the importance of INSTC in expanding India's trade and investment links with Central Asia.   


Also, India and Central Asia's biggest country Kazakhstan held talks in Delhi to bolster INSTC, in June 2015.
INSTC

The International North–South Transport Corridor is the ship, rail, and road route for moving
freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia.

The project envisages a multi-modal transportation network that connects ports on India's west coast to Bandar Abbas in Iran,then overland to Bandar Anzali port on the Caspian Sea;thence through Rasht and Astara on the Azerbaijan border onwards to Kazakhstan,and further onwards towards Russia. (also Ukraine) - SEE MAP


Source: The Hindu


Created using Google Maps



SHORTER, CHEAPER
Once complete,this would connect Europe and Asia in a unique way experts estimate the distance could be covered in 25-30 days in what currently takes 45-60 days through the Suez Canal.


Source: Politics Forum
Advantages:
  • India, which recently signed a MoU with Iran for the development of the Chabahar port which is its anticipated gateway to Afghanistan, is keen to tap the trading potential with countries in the region and has been pushing for providing connectivity.
  • Will act as a gateway to Central Asia
  • Geo-strategic importance
  • Better trade - will bolster world economy as a whole (CAD, investment, manufacturing/service sector growth, employment, poverty alleviation, etc.)
  • Environmentally less harmful - lower carbon footprint - sustainability (since smaller route ---> lower emissions)
Concerns:
  • Mainly bogged down by security concerns in the region (Syria civil war, ISIS unrest, Ukraine war, etc.)
  • Political instability
[Source: The Hindu, Wikipedia]

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