Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI) convened conference and a meeting at FFFAI – Mumbai office of its members with Mr. Ravi Capoor, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce to brief members on International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC). FFFAI is doing a dry run study of the bottlenecks on the INSTC route.
Mr. Ravi Capoor in his briefing said that there are 4 emerging markets in the world, namely ASEAN, LATIN, AFRICAN and CIS countries. Indian companies are trading with ASEAN, LATIN, AFRICAN, countries but till date their presence in CIS countries is not substantial. He said that after 1991 when integrated USSR collapsed, there was huge economic mayhem and during the same period simultaneously in India there was economic liberalization. The volume of trade with the erstwhile USSR moved towards the west, since many countries of the broken USSR became land locked countries and trading with these countries became difficult. From 1991 to 2001 out of 15 countries 12 countries were formed as CIS countries namely, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova.
He said that there are a lot of trade opportunities for the Indian exporters and importers. Custom brokers, freight forwarders, shipping lines can gain from development of INSTC route as a lot of bulk cargo can be imported from these CIS countries and finished products can be exported, as these countries do not locally manufacture most of their requirements.
He informed that FFFAI is doing a dry run project on behalf of Ministry of Commerce, GOI, wherein two containers will be moved from Nhava Sheva on following two routes
1. Nhava Sheva - Bandar Abbas by sea, Bandar Abbas – Baku by road.
2. Nhava Sheva – Bandar Abbas by sea , Bandar Abbas – Bandar Anzali or Amirabad by rail and further transhipped to Astrakhan or Olya through Caspian Sea.
He said that custom brokers, freight forwarders should take a lead to popularise this route as the same takes half the travel time taken, as against shipping cargo to St Petersburg or Poti and thereafter moving the same to the CIS landlocked countries.
Mr. Shankar Shinde who shall be leading the Dry Run Study briefed about the study to be undertaken on this INSTC route and further informed Members to provide inputs with regard to the issues faced on this route which can be integrated for the study and implementation purpose, also informed that the suggestion to develop this route will be appreciated.
He thanked Mr. Ravi Capoor for taking time off from his busy schedule to brief FFFAI members about the INSTC project being spear headed by him.
Mr. Sailesh Bhatia – Vice Chairman concluding the press conference and meeting thanked Mr. Ravi Capoor – Joint Secretary – Ministry of Commerce for updating members about the CIS countries and assured him full support from FFFAI for carrying out the Dry Run Project for which a report will be submitted to the Ministry of Commerce. He also thanked the Press and the Members for participating and showing interest in development of INSTC route.