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Chabahar corridor to give Central Asia ‘dependable’ access to global markets: Heart of Asia

Countries, including India in the Amritsar Declaration, also welcomed the pact on jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road between China and Afghanistan.

By: PTI | Amritsar |
December 4, 2016 8:15:17 pm
afghanistan, ashraf ghani, Chabahar, Chabahar corridor, Heart of Asia, hoa, Heart of Asia summit, narendra modi, Central Asia, global markets, india news The 6th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference, in Amritsar on Sunday. PTI Photo

Nations taking part in the Heart of Asia (HoA) summit on Sunday acknowledged the “significant” step taken by India, Iran and Afghanistan by signing the trilateral Chabahar transport pact, saying the corridor will provide “dependable” access for Central Asia to global markets. The nations also agreed to collaborate closely in removing non-tariff barriers to trade, establishing and implementing bilateral and multilateral regional transit-trade framework agreements while underlining the “urgent” need to integrate expansion of existing bilateral trade and transit through the land route.

Countries, including India in the Amritsar Declaration, also welcomed the pact on jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road between China and Afghanistan. “We recognise the crucial significance of enhanced and assured sea-land access for Afghanistan to region’s biggest markets. In this context, we note the significant step taken by Afghanistan, Iran and India by signing their trilateral transport and transit agreement based on sea access through Chabahar,” the Declaration said.

“Once implemented, this corridor will provide additional and dependable access for Afghanistan and Central Asia to regional and global markets. We also welcome the progress made on the Lapis Lazuli corridor and believe that this will further increase the connectivity of Afghanistan,” it said.

Noting Afghanistan’s crucial role as a natural land bridge in promoting regional connectivity and economic integration in the Heart of Asia region, the nations also extended their support for Afghanistan’s efforts to use its geographic location to enhance wider regional economic cooperation. “We further stress that economic development will contribute to achieving lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region, and enhance regional economic integration,” the Declaration said.

The nations also welcomed the implementation of Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI) and completion of the first stage of the Asian International Railway Corridor between Imamnazar, Turkmenistan, and Aqina, Afghanistan. “Further, we encourage the early implementation of the multinational energy and connectivity projects of CASA-1000, TUTAP, Chabahar Agreement, the Five Nation Railway, TAT linking Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan by rail, all of which would play a central role in strengthening regional cooperation between Central Asia and South Asia and further forge economic connectivity and growth in the region,” the Declaration said.

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