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India joins UN convention to position itself as a trading and transit hub

In a significant development, India has joined the United Nations Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Convention that will help the country to boost trade through smoother movement of goods across territories and position itself as a regional trading and transit hub like China.

TIR Convention will come into force in India in the next six months. India is the 71st country to join the global customs convention. It could be noted that China had joined the TIR in 2016.

The TIR Convention will enable India to move cargo along the International North-South Transport Corridor via Chabahar port in Iran, to access land-locked Afghanistan and the energy-rich Eurasian region. Further, it will help India to integrate with Myanmar and Thailand as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

The global customs convention will help India in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. In addition, it will breathe life into the International North-South Transport Corridor and the Chabahar project.

India’s ratification into ITR is a part of the country’s multi-modal transport strategy that aims to integrate the economy with global and regional production networks through better connectivity. India’s accession into this global convention will link the country to maritime transport routes across the entire Asia-Pacific region. It will certainly boost trade and regional integration across South Asia and beyond apart from fast-tracking India’s potential to become a strategic trade hub.

According to a study done by UNESCAP region, implementing TIR could generate economic benefits ranging from 0.14 to 1.31 per cent of national GDP.

The Union Cabinet, in March, had approved India’s accession into United Nations Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Convention.

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