India on Wednesday, 13 March, received the first shipment of cargo from Afghanistan under the United Nations 'Transports Internationaux Routiers' (TIR) convention, arriving via the strategic Chabahar port in Iran.
The consignments were received at Nhava Sheva port in Navi Mumbai and the Mundra port in Gujarat.
The TIR system, which India reportedly became part of in June 2017, allows for easier movement of goods across countries with the usage of TIR carnets and no requirement for physical checking of the contents.
“TIR will play a pivotal role in improving ease of doing business and pave the way for smoother and safer transport of goods across international borders and will help boost trade between India, Central Asia, Europe and Russia.”Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI, as quoted by The Hindu
The Chabahar port in the Sistan-Balochistan province in energy-rich Iran's sourther coast is easily accessible from India's western coast and is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan's Gwadar Port located at a distance of around 80 km from Chabahar.
The first phase of the Chabahar port was inaugurated in December 2017 by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, opening a new strategic route connecting Iran, India and Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.
The Chabahar port is being considered as a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries, besides ramping up trade among the three countries.