While representing India at the SCO Council of Heads of Government meeting on Tuesday, Union Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar underlined that the Chabahar port and International North-South Transport Corridor will help to improve connectivity and unlock the economic potential of the region. The 21st SCO meeting which was conducted in a virtual format focused mainly on the trade and economic agenda of the Organization.
“Represented India at the meeting of SCO Council of Heads of Government which has just concluded. Underlined that we need better connectivity in the SCO region built on centrality of interests of Central Asian states,” Jaishankar tweeted.
“Will unlock the economic potential of this region in which Chabahar port and the International North-South Transport Corridor could become enablers. Connectivity projects should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States and respect international law,” he added.
The minister also highlighted the Mission LiFE project launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which aspires to replace the ‘use and dispose of’ economy, with a circular economy.
“Our total trade with SCO Members is only USD 141 billion, which has the potential to increase manifold. Fair market access is to our mutual benefit and the only way to move forward,” the minister said in another tweet.
Several members of the Organization expressed their condolences on the Morbi bridge collapse in which 135 innocent people lost their lives.
Union Minister also affirmed that India looks forward to its ongoing chairmanship of the SCO and is actively engaged in all the activities and dialogue mechanisms of the organization. The leaders of the SCO met last month in Samarkand, during the annual meeting of the organization.
On the sidelines of the SCO meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and reviewed the Chabahar Port with other developments, including the Taliban-takeover of Afghanistan. The Chabahar Port was developed by India, Iran, and Afghanistan in the Sistan-Balochistan province to boost connectivity and trade ties. The project ran into several problems after the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and re-imposed sanctions on Iran and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021.