Armenia is considering the possibility of becoming a Chabahar port operator

The economic cooperation between Armenia and India has excellent potential for development. The structure and volumes of trade turnover still need to correspond to the real possibilities of financial interaction between the two countries. An essential factor in developing Armenian-Indian trade circulation can be the settlement of the logistics problem. In that regard, the significance of the Iranian port of Chabahar is vital. Armenia, as Haykaz Nasibyan, Secretary General of the RA Ministry of Economy, stated in response to Armenpress's inquiry, is currently considering the possibility of becoming a Chabahar port operator.

- How do you assess the current economic relations between Armenia and India?

Diplomatic relations and economic ties between the two countries are developing year by year. However, there is excellent potential to develop cooperation in various fields. Armenia and India are interested in deepening economic cooperation, taking mutual steps to strengthen and expand economic ties, and forming long-term collaboration.

- According to statistical data, last year, the import of goods from India to Armenia slightly exceeded the export index from Armenia to that country. What opportunities does Armenia have to change that image?

It should be noted that India is the world's largest producer of various raw materials. Armenian companies import multiple types of raw materials from India, which are transformed into final products in Armenia, consumed in the domestic market, and exported to various countries.

In 2023, about 35 million dollars of products were exported from Armenia to India, the majority of which, about 95 percent, was raw or semi-processed gold. From that point of view, exports from Armenia to India need serious product diversification.

- Especially in which areas can the cooperation between the two countries develop more effectively? What factors hinder the more active development of these relationships?

- Armenia is a short way to enter the EAEU and EU markets, and the logic of creating Armenian-Indian joint ventures should proceed within those frameworks. The sectors can be quite diverse: textile industry, processing industry, light and heavy industry, high technology, etc. There is also a great potential to deepen cooperation in agro-food products, considering that in 2023, the trade turnover of agro-food products between our countries amounted to 28.72 million US dollars.

The increase in the volume of cargo transportation through Iranian ports can facilitate the development of trade circulation between Armenia and India. Corresponding work is currently being carried out in that direction. The RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure is working to sign the "Agreement on International Automobile Communications" between the governments of Armenia and India.

- Last spring, during his visit to India, RA Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan offered that the country use the trade corridor passing through Armenia and reach the Black Sea ports by a short route. Iran and India also expressed their importance. Is there any process in that direction, and if so, at what stage?

- At present, the main problem of the Republic of Armenia is to enable Armenian export businesses to enter other markets by providing favorable logistics conditions. At the same time, participation in international transit cargo routes must be ensured. From this point of view, the active involvement of Armenia in the "North-South" international transport corridor project is essential. Moreover, in this project, Armenia can become a significant participant and implementer in forming an alternative freight route, offering an alternative corridor to connect India and Iran to Europe through Georgia and the Black Sea and to connect Europe to India. The corridor can be a link to the Russian Federation by land route. In this process, the fact that Armenia is the only country that has signed the Comprehensive and Extended Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the European Union and is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is essential.

Iran's Chabahar port can be an essential hub for the transport connection between Armenia and India. Through regular sea cargo transportation, Armenia can significantly increase the volume of trade between them. Armenia is also currently considering the possibility of becoming the Chabahar port operator. Within the framework of the interdepartmental working group created for this purpose, steps are being taken to obtain feasibility studies.