India, Iran sign pact for movement of seafarers

August 23, 2022 12:00 am | Updated 05:42 am IST - NEW DELHI

Centre highlights role of Chabahar port as a trade multiplier

Sarbananda Sonowal with Vice-President of Iran Mohammad Mokhber.

Sarbananda Sonowal with Vice-President of Iran Mohammad Mokhber.

In a bid to aid the movement of seafarers between the two countries, India and Iran on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding on recognition of Certificates of Competency in Unlimited Voyages to help seafarers from both countries as per the provisions of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping for Seafarers, 1978.

The MoU was signed during a bilateral meeting between the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal and Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Rostam Ghasemi. Mr. Sonowal is on a three-day visit to Iran.

“The Union Minister reiterated the importance of the bilateral relationship between the two countries. The role of Chabahar as a trade multiplier for the region was highlighted by the Union Minister at the meeting as the potential of the port to act as a swift, economical trade conduit between Central Asia and South Asia, even South East Asia, remains to be tapped fully,” the Ministry said in a statement.

The Minister also called on Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Mokhber. Mr. Mokhber, who is Iran’s special envoy for relations with India, said the development of the Chabahar port would lead to an increase in trade and shipment volume, the statement said.

The statement said that since India Ports Global Private Ltd. (IPGPL) assumed the operations of Shahid Beheshti Port, it has handled over 4.8 million tonnes of bulk cargo. With close cooperation between India’s IPGPL and Iranian stakeholders including Iran’s Port and Maritime Organisation, Iranian Customs Administration and the Chabahar Free Zone Authority, the Shahid Behesti Port Authority & other stakeholders, the port is likely to act as a catalyst to unlock the huge trade potential in the region.

In 2020, India supplied 75,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan as part of a humanitarian assistance programme as well as provided for 40,000 litres of Malathion, 96% ULV pesticides to Iran via Chabahar port in a concerted effort to mitigate locust threat to agriculture and enhance food security in the region, it added.

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