The International North-South Corridor (INSTC) will be operationalized very soon as New Delhi, Tehran and Moscow are hopeful of removing all the hurdles in next trilateral meet scheduled on November 23.
"In the 23rd November 2018 trilateral meeting on INSTC all issues may be resolved in order to operationalize the route as early as possible," Suresh Prabhu, India's Commerce Minister said.
Trade representatives, policymakers and officials of India, Russia, and Iran had held a closed-door meeting in Moscow on October 19 on the range of regional issues including operationalization of the corridor which can transport an estimated 20 to 30 million tonnes of goods per year. The corridor will reduce time and cost by 30% to 40%.
India has put high stakes on developing the Chabahar Port in Iran as it will provide a crucial transit point in INSTC and some other connectivity projects aimed at increasing Indian trade with Central Asia.
Meanwhile, during the 19th Annual Bilateral Summit held in New Delhi on October 5, India and Russia called for the development of the 16-year old agreement on INSTC "…by finalizing pending issues…through bilateral discussions as well as discussions with other partner countries at the earliest".
"There is a possibility for Russian investments in Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, smart cities, railways, public transport, sanitation and low cost housing," Suresh Prabhu said before the Russian delegation.
India's pharma exports to Russia constitute a sizable chunk but possibilities of joint investments are being considered by leading Indian pharma companies under Russia's Pharma 2020 program.
Commerce Minister Prabhu also explained the procedure and policy for establishing the green field and brown field airports in tier-II and III cities in India. Russian investments may also be explored in the pilot training center coming up in the country. India has invited Russian aerospace companies to participate in the global aviation summit to be held in January 2019.