The Director General of SEZ Lotus JSC took part in the round table dedicated to the development of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), initiated by the Indian Chamber of Commerce. The event brought together the representatives of government agencies, economic zones, logistics and insurance companies, port operators, experts and scientists from research and development centers of Russia and India.
The INSTC has recently become a fulcrum for the development of new economic relations and is considered the main route to India, South-East Asia, Arab and African countries via Iran. According to the forecast of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the volume of cargo transported via the INSTC will increase to 19.5 million tons in 2023 and to 31.7 million tons in 2030.
The prospects and opportunities for the development of the Indo-Russian business cooperation, as well as problematic issues that slow down the development of the maritime part of the Corridor were discussed at the round table. This, for example, included the lack of regular shipping lines in the Caspian Sea, which would ensure scheduled cargo transportation.
– This issue is worked out jointly with logistics and shipping companies. A temporary scheme of vessel traffic has been determined, and by the end of the year it is planned to start the first container transportations via the created route based on the agreed timing. There is already a similar line in the Indian Ocean. The representatives of the Indian side also expressed their readiness to jointly carry out test cargo transportations via the INSTC and to provide their containers for the whole route, – noted Director General of SEZ Lotus JSC.
In the Astrakhan Region, the Port Special Economic Zone, which is going to become a major logistics hub at the INSTC, is being developed. Sergey Milushkin emphasized that the cargo transportation to Astrakhan is already available by all means of transport – railways, inland waterways and roads. The flow of cargo through the Astrakhan Region via the INSTC has increased significantly. When the container terminal in the Port SEZ is put into service, a modern infrastructure for container operations, still lacking in the region, will be accessible. The related projects are also being implemented at the same time: a SEZ Lotus tenant is constructing modern container vessels to be used in the Caspian Sea.
– We believe that there is also a need for standardized transport and logistics centers that should have the same service packages. For instance, all centers must have refrigerators for transported frozen products, as well as warehouses for handling containers, facilities for repairing them, and a whole range of other services providing shippers the safety of their cargo. In Iran, we are negotiating the possibility of jointly establishing such centers on the territory of ports in free economic zones. And we are ready to hold the same negotiations with Indian partners. Russian insurance companies are also ready to cooperate with international partners to provide end-to-end insurance for cargoes, – emphasized Sergey Milushkin.
As a follow-up to the event, the head of the Caspian Cluster management company held talks with logistics companies from Russia, India and Iran on the creation of a single logistics service on the Trans-Caspian route of the INSTC.
– We know the main participants of the logistic process in Russia, Iran and India, those, who are engaged in the unification of the route, we cooperate with them and provide recommendations, because the complex development of the INSTC, a route laying through the Caspian Sea, is necessary for the successful operation of the Port Special Economic Zone in the Astrakhan Region. We bring together logisticians, investors, ship owners, dock workers, management companies of free economic zones, financial and insurance companies. This event offered to be arranged by the Indian Chamber of Commerce is a very good environment to address these issues. I am sure that in a few months the reached agreements will be transformed into certain arrangements and contracts, – concluded Sergey Milushkin.