India’s Central Asia dreams to set sail from Chabahar

A nice summary of the recent deals by Indian government in Iran. Coincidentally, I have been reading this book by Scott Levi which documents how Punjabi Khatri merchants traded in Central Asia.

The recent deal is all about going back to history:

In what is arguably the most important foreign visit of the year for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he signed a dozen deals with Iran. Emerging from decades of sanctions, Iran could soon be the most happening place for trade in the near future, with all the major economies seeking to build ties with it. Modi reached Tehran on Sunday.

Leveraging historic ties with Iran, Modi signed deals covering a wide range of areas, from exchange visits by think tanks to a trilateral agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran for a trade treaty to develop the Chabahar port. It is Iran’s only port on the Indian Ocean, and once developed, it will allow India to access Central Asia directly — skipping Pakistan.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) later issued an official statement claiming that a decision has been reached to transform the trade relationship between the two countries into a comprehensive economic partnership. But even more significantly, putting past differences behind them, Iran and India said they were in political agreement.  

“We have agreed to consult closely and regularly on combating threats of terrorism, radicalism, drug trafficking and cyber crime,” Modi said, addressing a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Terming the dosti (friendship) between India and Iran as old as history, he said, “Through centuries, our societies have stayed connected through art and architecture, ideas and traditions, and culture and commerce. Expanded trade ties, deeper connectivity, including railways, partnerships in oil and gas sector, fertilisers, education and cultural sphere are driving our economic engagement.”

Nice bit.

The earlier merchants primarily traded via land on this route and this time the trading route is going to use waters.

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