of Freight Forwarders Association of India (FFFAI) has assuaged concerns of
Indian trade about feasibility of International North-South Trade Corridor
(INSTC) at the Maritime Nation India expo 2017 on 16th Sept.
Since the launch of the corridor in 2002, not a single container has been
despatched via INSTC, said Mr Rajan, Director, Ministry of Commerce, government
of India lamenting lack of Indian EXIM fraternity patronage to INSTC at the
FFFAI session at the expo.
trade potential Central Asian Countries(CAR) including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Tajikistan, Ukraine and Belarus along with Russia, he said India's external
trade with CAR countries currently stands at $ 10 bn and following sealing of
Free Trade Agreement(FTA) with CAR and other neighbouring countries in the
region, India's trade is poised to jump from $37 bn from $62 bn. In per centage
terms, India shares measly 1.5% with East European nations excluding
Russia, he added.
alone present $ 300 bn trade potential to India via INSTC except for logistic
challenges, he observed and further emphasized the role of Georgia in tapping
13 East European trading nations via former country. Trade route via Georgia
promises to slash distance by 40 per cent and cost by 30 per cent, he pointed
out. Detailing government's agenda in boosting INSTC prospects, commerce
ministry director reiterated the proposed FTA with Georgia and Common Wealth of
Independent States (Eastern European countries) to accelerate trade
added that Russia and 11 other neighbouring countries in the region are the
focus market radar of the government. Exhorting the EXIM community support in
uplifting the trade volumes between India and INSTC trade route nations, He
pledged members of trade that Indian government is determined to iron out all
outstanding issues plaguing INSTC via Government-to-Government deliberations
Mr D P
Srivastav, former Indian ambassador to Iran flayed the
misconceptions about Iran among Indian EXIM compatriots. Iran serves as
gateway to CIS nations via INSTC route for India and the former country is incurring
$62 billion import bill a potential trade target for the latter, he said.
Reeling out economic indicators of Iran favouring close bilateral trade with
India, the former diplomat said Iran has low 1.5% external debt to GDP ratio
besides declining rate of inflation from 13% to 6.8% and an annual growth rate
of 5%, he added. The low percentage of external debt to GDP indicates that
India won't face payment issues while carrying out export and import trade with
Iran, he opined.
the lingering fears of Indian trade over erstwhile US-related trade sanctions
on Iran, he remarked that despite sanctions two nation non-oil trade rose
from $2.4 bn in 2010-11 to $4.9 bn in 2013-14. The former Indian diplomat to
Iran further said that Iran has abolished exchange rate and has provided banking
channels for receiving and making payments in rupees. The FIATA bill of lading
was introduced mainly for transit of goods from India securing insurance claims
on export import consignments, he said.
on the cheap untapped potential gas trade potential between Turkmenistan and
India, Srivastava said gas price remains comparatively cheaper at $1.8 mmbtu in
Iran in comparison with India's $7.6 mmbtu, where India has scope to import gas
at cheaper rates from gas-rich Turkmenistan via Iran thru INSTC to cater to
domestic fuel and fertilizer needs. Touching upon Indian government initiatives
to beef up INSTC, he stated that India is helping Iran in completion of rail
projects providing INSTC linkages.
Nazari, Director General, International Affairs, Iranian Railways gave an over
view of upcoming rail infrastructure projects in Iran. Ms Irina, Chief
Specialist, EVRAZ, Russian Railway Logistics Company threw light on rail
logistics infrastructure facilities of Russia.
Mr Samir J Shah, Chairman,
FFFAI informed about slew of initiatives undertaken by his association to
popularise INSTC among various International chambers and commerce and trade
associations to patronise INSTC.