Chabahar port inauguration

After Chabahar port received the first wheat consignment headed for Afghanistan from India in October-end, the Iranian government on Tuesday said it had completed construction of the first phase of the port. Officials said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will inaugurate the first phase on Sunday, in a ceremony attended by “regional beneficiaries and neighbouring countries”.

Shipping and highways minister Nitin Gadkari will represent India at the event. Earlier this year, Iran had asked India to operate the first phase of the port. India wants to spend $235 million on the Chabahar port, but that’s in the second phase. The government has even set up a special purpose vehicle for the project. In addition, India has teamed up with Japan to develop the port as well as a special economic zone near the port.

India shipped 1.1million tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan from the western port of Kandla on October 29. The shipment will be taken by trucks to Afghanistan from Chabahar port.

“I believe this is the starting point of our journey to realise the full spectrum of connectivity — from culture to commerce, from traditions to technology, from investments to IT, from services to strategy and from people to politics,” foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said in a statement on October 29. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the launch of the trade route “marks a new chapter in regional cooperation and connectivity”.

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