Mumbai: The Ministry of Port, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) on Sunday observed 'Chabahar Day' in Mumbai to mark the Chabahar - Link to International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) - Connecting Central Asian Markets.

Sonwal in his address stated that India's vision is to make Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar a transit hub and linking it to INSTC to reach out to Central Asian Countries, said the MoPSW press release.

He said that India looks forward to businesses and logistics companies utilizing the incentives of the Shahid Beheshti Port and Chabahar Free Trade Zone.

The Union Minister further urged all the representatives and stakeholders to come forward with suggestions to reduce the transportation time and cost further to make a cheaper, shorter, faster and more reliable route from India to Iran and Central Asia, added the release.

The event was attended by Minister of State, MoPSW, Shripad Yesso Naik, Nurlan Zhalgasbayev, Ambassador-Republic of Kazakhstan, Asein Isaev, Ambassador- Kyrgyzstan, Lukmon Bobokalonzoda Ambassador Tajikistan, Shalar Geldynazarov Ambassador, Turkmenistan, Dilshod Akhatov, Ambassador- Uzbekistan, Jalil Eslami, Deputy of Port and economic affairs of PMO, Zakia Wardak, Consul General (CG), Afghanistan, Dr AM Alikhani Consul General of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Masoud Ostad Hossein, Advisor to the minister & head of the centre for international affairs of ministry of Road and Urban Development, Iran, Rajeev Jalota, Chairman, Indian Ports Association and Sunil Mukundan, MD, IPGL who graced the event through their presence along with other esteemed guests.

During the event, the delegates from the Central Asian countries highlighted how Chabahar link with INSTC can play a vital role in boosting EXIM trade in their regions and its potential to further boost development in the landlocked countries, said the release.

The Chabahar Port is a key pillar of India's India-Pacific vision to connect Eurasia with the Indian Ocean Region.

The port will also be part International North-South Transport Corridor network connecting India. INSTC (International North-South Transport Corridor) is India's vision and initiative to reduce the time taken for EXIM shipments to reach Russia, Europe, and enter the central Asian markets.

The Chabahar Port located in Iran is the commercial transit centre for the region and especially Central Asia.

Notably, the first rail transit cargo from Russia to India entered Iran recently through the Sarakhs border crossing, marking the official launch of the eastern section of the North-South railway corridor.

International North-South Transport Corridor is a corridor to increase trade between India and Russia. This trade route is 7200 Km long and the transport of freight is through a multi-mode network of roads, ships, and railways. This route connects India and Russia through Iran and Azerbaijan.

The corridor is aimed at reducing the carriage cost between India and Russia by about 30 per cent and bringing down the transit time from 40 days by more than half.

Russia, India, and Iran are the founding member states of INSTC. The agreement was signed in 2002.

There are 13 member states of the INSTC project - India, Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Turkey, Syria and Ukraine.

Bulgaria is the Observer State. The Baltic countries like Latvia and Estonia have also expressed willingness to join the INSTC.

India shows interest in extending INSTC membership to countries like Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

Establishing a land route via Kabul and Tashkent to form the INSTC's "Eastern corridor" would maximise the potential of this collaboration.

Also, India wants to include Chabahar port to be included in the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

The potential export sectors in India that benefit from INSTC include perishable goods (fruits and vegetables), high-value items like ATMs, industrial printers, 3D printers, robotic assembly accessories, etc., cross-border e-commerce, and sectors that are likewise.