The first meeting of the Follow-up Committee, which is tasked with the implementation of the trilateral Chabahar Agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran, was held on December 24th, 2018 in the port city of Chabahar in Iran.
This was a particularly important occasion, as the Indian port operator, India Ports Global Limited, opened its local office and took over operations at Shaheed Behesti port at Chabahar.
According to the Indian government, “positive and constructive” discussions were held between the three parties about moving to full operations for international transit and transport through Chabahar port. The three sides agreed on trade routes and transit corridors between the three countries.
It was also agreed to finalise, at the earliest opportunity, a protocol to harmonise transit, roads, customs, and consular matters, and to allow cargo movement at Chabahar using the provisions of the TIR Convention.
An event to promote the potential of Chabahar Port is to be held in February next year, while studies are to be made into ways of making the Chabahar route more attractive, by decreasing logistics and shipping costs.
India is investing an estimated US$500 million to develop Chabahar Port as well as a road link from the Iranian port to Afghanistan, opening up new markets for Indian companies without the need to transit through Pakistan.