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Safwat : Chabahar is not an alternative to Suez Canal

George Safwat

In exclusive statements to “Blue Economy”, the official spokesman for the Suez Canal Authority, George Safwat confirmed that the authority has been following up this project since it was an idea in 2000!

The spokesman for the Suez Canal Authority, George Safwat confirmed that the international shipping route “Chabahar” that Iran announced its establishment is not considered a substitute  or competitor for the Suez Canal.

Safwat said in statements to the American “Monitor” website: “The Iranian channel is not an alternative or a competitor to the Egyptian Suez Canal whose capacity exceeds one billion tons annually, unlike the limited Iranian channel’s capacity, because its goal is to serve Asia’s landlocked trade, between countries bordering the Caspian Sea , which limits the number of goods and cargo. ”

He added: “The idea of the Iranian international transport route dates back to 2000 when Iran, Russia and India signed a joint agreement to start construction of a transportation route that includes maritime, land and rail transport lines.” He pointed out that the path aims to transport goods and cargo from India and Iran to the countries surrounding the Caspian Sea and from there to Russia and Germany and vice versa at a distance of 7,500 kilometers.

Safwat emphasized that the implementation of this route has been closely followed since then, and the process has been repeatedly delayed due to its high cost.

He pointed out that transportation through the Iranian route passes through four stages, and therefore the cost of transportation represents 4 times the cost of transport via the Suez Canal.

Safwat said: “With regard to speed, it takes 19 days to ship a container directly from India to Hamburg in Germany via the Suez Canal, compared to more than 20 days through the Iranian channel, which means that the Suez Canal is faster and cheaper.”

Safwat has confirmed in special statements to “Blue Economy” that the authority and its research center have been following this issue since it was a mere  idea, and he pointed out the challenges facing the Suez Canal under the Polar Code and the melting of the frozen Arctic and climate changes, stressing that this will not affect the maritime navigational movement in the Suez canal, with its rectifiers throughout history and the new vision of the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority,  Admiral Osama Rabie, considering the canal as the most important global shipping route.

It was published through the Iranian news agency on a new commercial route that would be an alternative to the Suez Canal. The Director General of the Iranian Chabahar Free Zone Organization, Abdul Rahim Kurdi, said that the trade link between Mumbai, Hamburg and St. Petersburg will be via Astrakhan, Anzali, Jabhar and Nava Shiva in India, instead of the Egyptian Suez Canal .

“IRNA” agency displayed Kurdi’s statements that the commercial route will reduce the time it takes to transport goods from Russia significantly, from 38 days to 14 – 16 days only, which was denied by the official spokesman of the Suez Canal Authority George Safwat.

Translation: Shereen El Gohary

About Magdy Sadek

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