Chabahar Port Phase One launched

President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, inaugurated the first phase of the Chabahar port on December 3rd. This advantageous port will provide an alternative route to the land-locked boundaries of Afghanistan and allow it open doors to global markets. It is also an important passage between India and Afghanistan, detouring the hindrances triggered by Pakistan. According to Hindu, the capacity of this new leeway extends from 2.5 million tons to 8 million tons. Through the construction of this port in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran; India, Afghanistan and Iran have reconfirmed their allegiance in ensuring peaceful bilateral trade and economic development. The Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed that the three countries are committed to solving disputes regarding regional connectivity.

Reports from The Times of India recognized the Chabahar port as a challenge to the Gwadar port of Pakistan, located 80 km away. This port developed by China is crucial to China’s Belt and Road Initiative and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. One of the key benefits of Chabahar port is that it will equip India is guarding Chinese activities in the Arabian Sea.

The first phase of the Chabahar port project – Shahid Beheshti port, will not only enhance India’s entry to Iran, but will also act as a chief pathway to the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), the water, railway and road links shared by Europe, India, Iran Russia and whole of Central Asia.

Sources: The Hindu, The Times of India 

Trump spells Trouble For North Korea

On June 30, 2017, United States President Trump said at a press conference with South Korean President Moon Jaein that, “Together we are facing the threat of the reckless and brutal regime.” Aiming at North Korea to “choose a better path…quickly.” Pointing out the importance of their alliance and targeting Seoul over trade and sharing the cost of defense.

The US President said that North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missiles program required a “determined response,’ and stressed that ‘strategic patience’ with their government had come to hault. Moon said that it is really important to engage in dialogue with North Korean Leaders. The South Korean President added, that his country would continue defense reforms and build up the capacity to defend itself. “North Korea issue is top priority- the only strong security can bring about genuine peace” in the Asia-Pacific region, added Moon.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has warned against the consequences of any military solution to be “tragic, on an unbelievable scale”. Trump’s only hope lies in persuading China, North Korea’s neighbor and prime trading partner, to handle rein in Pyongyang, even though he has lately been frustrated that Beijing hasn’t been a great help. Moon and Donald Trump are open to any new discussion with North Korea, but only under certain circumstances that would lead to Pyongyang get rid of its non-benefiting weapon schemes.

Further events, where North Korea executed a missile launch that failed, and held a military parade in show of strength, and US deployed a submarine and group of warships to the region, has further raised tensions between them.

Source: Reuters, CNN

India strengthens ties with ASEAN to work on region security architecture

India has collaborated with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), to uproot terror financing, arms smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering and cyber crimes which are some of the challenges faced by the Southeast Asian nations.

ASEAN and India have enhanced maritime cooperation and security to find collaborative solutions to emerging and non-traditional challenges, making ASEAN India’s fourth largest trading partner. Enhancement of connectivity by land, air and sea in order to transform the corridors of connectivity into that of economic cooperation is also on the cards.

While addressing a Think Thank named ‘Research and Information System’, Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of External Affairs said, “Connectivity is a huge enabler for stimulating trade and investment as well as to ensure peace and stability.” She further added, “For enhancing digital connectivity, specific proposals have been put forward, involving the setting up of a regional high-capacity fibre-optic network, supplemented by national rural broadband networks and digital villages in remote areas.”

Swaraj expressed that the major boost towards infrastructure and connectivity, both within India and in the North East, in particular, can make a qualitative shift in our economic engagement with ASEAN. Swaraj also spoke about the influence of Hinduism in ASEAN

Swaraj also spoke about the influence of Hinduism in ASEAN countries making them natural partners of India’s Act East Policy. India’s exports to ASEAN having increased by almost 20 per cent in 2016-17 after   two years of slow growth. ASEAN-India trade is now back on track with an increase of 8 %

India’s exports to ASEAN having increased by almost 20 per cent in 2016-17 after two years of slow growth. ASEAN-India trade is now back on track with an increase of 8 per cent.


News Source-  PTI

Rupee down by 25 paise against Dollar in early trade

The rupee went down by 25 paise against Dollar at the Interbank Foreign exchange due to the rise in Greenback’s value against other currencies overseas, on Tuesday. It weakened further to a 62.80 against the US dollar in early trade.

Dollar’s gains against other overseas currencies seemed to have caused this fall in the value of the Indian rupee. A lower opening in the domestic equity market and increased demand for American currency from importers could have also weighed on the fall in the value of the rupee.

The Indian rupee ended up losing 39 paise, to close at a two-month low of 62.55 against the American dollar on Monday, after the controversial jobs data spurred expectations of a real early hike in U.S. interest rates.

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex also fell by 0.12 per cent or 34.84 points to 28,809.94 in early trade on Tuesday.

Pakistan may soon grant MFN status to India

Photo Courtesy - Representational image.
Photo Courtesy – Representational image.

New Delhi: After years of dilly-dallying, Pakistan may soon grant the long awaited Most Favoured Nation status to India, according to the co-chair of the India-Pakistan Joint Business Forum (IPJBF) Syed Yawar Ali.

“All the home work has been completed and formalities have been done so I think it is only the matter of time when the two governments meet and right forum is there. So I do not think that is an issue,” said Mr. Ali.

The announcement was made at the fourth meeting held at New Delhi which was co-chaired by Joint MD of Hero MotoCorp Sunil Kant Munjal.

Although Pakistan has decided to give the MFN status to its neighbour, they have decided to postpone the Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) to India owning to disagreement within the political circle.

Opening of the Pakistan markets would mean increased bilateral trade between the two developing nations. The trade revenue between India and Pakistan touched $2.6 billion in 2012-13.

Pakistan would drop a significant number from the negative list of tradable items if the status is granted. “India has done lot of FTAs and bilateral agreements with neighbours. So I think the time has come when we should also start thinking about it. This is the future we are looking at,” added Mr. Ali.

They are also looking forward to negotiating the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in the upcoming meeting of the foreign secretaries in Lahore on August 25th.

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