Chabahar Day was commemorated on the sidelines of the Second edition of International Maritime Summit-2021 in the virtual format. The event was attended and addressed by Mr Qudratullah Zaki, Minister of Transport, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mr Suren Papikyan, Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures, Republic of Armenia, Mohammad Eslami, Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Berik Kamaliev, Deputy Industry and Infrastructure Development Minister, Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr Oleg N Ryazantsev, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Russian Federation and Mr. Mr Choriyev Jasurbek Ergashevich, Deputy Minister of Transport, Republic of Uzbekistan. Minister of External Affairs, Dr. S. Jaishankar, addressed the session.
The meeting was chaired by Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Minister of State for Chemical & Fertilizers who also delivered the keynote address. Secretary (Ports, Shipping and Waterways), Shri Sanjeev Ranjan delivered welcome remarks.
The ministers stressed on the increasing need for closer cooperation in the creation of an integrated multi-modal transport system to enhance regional connectivity. Dr. S Jaishankar recounted the historic visit of Hon’ble PM to Iran in 2016 which paved the way for Trilateral Agreement between India, Iran & Afghanistan.
Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (Independent Charge) termed Chabahar port as the “connecting point” for the region to deliver humanitarian assistance, especially during the COVID pandemic. He also mentioned Chabahar Port as part of our shared commitment towards peace, stability and prosperity of the people of Afghanistan. Chabahar has allowed India to export humanitarian supplies to Kabul and has also helped Afghanistan diversify its export opportunities. Shri Mandaviya while stressing on enhancing regional connectivity, stressed the significance of activation of INSTC along with the proposal to hold the next INSTC Coordination Council Meeting in DVC format. He informed that till 31st January, 2021, about 123 vessels have berthed at our terminal. IPGCFZ have handled approximately 13,752 TEUs and 1.8 million tons of bulk and general cargo. Efforts are going on to improve the traffic at Chabahar Port. Recently two Mobile Harbour Cranes have successfully been shipped to Iran from Italy via Mumbai in January, 2021. Four more will reach the port shortly.
Secretary (Ports, Shipping and Waterways), Shri Sanjeev Ranjan focused on the significance of Indian involvement for development of Chabahar Port and its achievements. He also stressed the role of Chabahar Port as a transit hub to support landlocked countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan by giving access to the open seas, optimizing logistic cost by bringing in efficiency, and creating a reliable and safe transport corridor.
The Ministerial level opening session was followed by two webinar sessions which had the presence of eminent personalities and dignitaries including Mohammad Rastad, Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development and Managing Director, Ports and Maritime Organisation of Iran; Dr Saeid Rasouli, Vice-Minister for Roads and Urban Development, Chairman of the Board and President of Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI); Dr Davood Moradian, Director General, Afghanistan’s Institute of Strategic Studies; Ms Zakia Wardak, Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; Mr Farhad Mammadov Deputy Director, State Maritime Agency under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan.