Iran and India discussed areas of marine and ports cooperation and the possibility of expanding ties on the southern Iranian port of Chabahar in a meeting between senior marine and ports officials of the two countries.
Heading a high-ranking economic delegation, Iranian Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development and Managing Director of Ports and Maritime Organization Mohammad Rastad, met with senior officials from India’s Ministry of Shipping and the East Asian nation’s Ports Association on Friday.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed the circumstances of IPGL’s ‘temporary contract’ on development of Chabahar Port and discussed the time and conditions of implementing the main contract.
Possible approaches for removing the hurdles of investing in the port by the Indian contractor were also discussed in the meeting.
The Indian company, IPGL, has been tasked with administering and running the terminal of the first phase of ‘Beheshti harbor’ at Chabahar port as a mere operator.
Supplying the equipment for development of the port by the Indian company was also on the meeting’s agenda.
During his two-day stay, Rastad visited Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT Port), a strategic Indian trade hub, and conferred with related officials on boosting ties between the JNPT Port and Chabahar Port.
Chabahar is the closest and best access point of Iran to the Indian Ocean, due to which India Ports Global and Aria Banader Iranian Port signed a deal in May 2016 to equip and operate containers and multi-purpose terminals at Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar with the capital investment of $85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of $ 22.95 million on a 10-year lease.
In January, Indian Shipping and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari described the port as a “growth engine” for India to access Afghanistan and Russia.