Published On: Thu, Aug 3rd, 2017

“North South Corridor” by India as alternative to China’s One Belt One Road” project

China‘s “One Belt, One Road” project launched in 2013 and aimed at developing infrastructure and strengthening ties between the Eurasian countries, has been on the agenda for a while now. The strategy has to do on focusing on the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road. Some countries like Turkey have shown great interest in being part of the project.

India on the other hand, as one of the most important ambitious countries and a great competitor to China in the region has come up with an alternative idea of “a transport corridor to Iran, Russia, the Caucasus region and Central Asia”.

Experts believe the so-called “North-South Corridor” to go to Russia via Iran and enable connection between the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean with the Caspian, would contribute to Iran’s strategic position in the region in the most powerful manner, at the end of the day.

Looking into benefits this “North-South project” would provide for said countries in more detail, experts say it is obvious such a transportation channel is considered to be of importance to bring distribution costs and travel time down by 30 percent. In fact, measures like using ports like CHABAHAR and BENDER ABBAS on the south coast of Iran more effectively could be part of the solution, to bring cargoes to the Iranian ports on the Caspian Sea.

Regarding what India would expect from this cooperation, this country certainly needs a transport corridor for Russia and Europe, as well. Thus, this corridor would be used by all three countries, at the end of the day.

As the CHABAHAR port is considered to be a gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia, in case this project is realized, India would probably be more actively involved in the development of this port and eventually, a railway between CHABAHAR and BENDER ABBAS to further transport to Horasan and then to Central Asia would even need to be built to complete the project.

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