The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), stretching from the eastern coast of India to Europe via Iran, Russia, and the Caspian region, has been plagued by financial and political difficulties but its economic impact could be transformative if ever fully realized.
A flurry of recent diplomatic activity highlights the multilateral and multi-stakeholder footing of Eurasia's North-South trade and transport initiatives. While significant economic and political challenges remain, they retain the potential to transform Eurasia's economic landscape.
Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the Competing Visions of Japan, India, and other regional powers, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
India's International North-South Transport Corridor involves India's investments in Iran, such as the Chabahar Port and the planned rail project from Chabahar to the Iranian city of Zahedan. The 7,000 kilometer corridor, which has been called an alternative to China's Belt and Road Initiative, will bypass Pakistan and connect India with Russia, potentially transforming Eurasian trade.
Within the last few years, Iran has demonstrated its strong political will to re-emerge as a regional transportation hub.
The New Silk Road Project will travel 10,000 miles across China’s Economic Belt from London to Yiwu to investigate the people, projects, countries, and landscapes involved in China's Belt and Road Initiative.
When operational, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway could unlock new trade patterns and shift Eurasia’s economic center of gravity inward. The potential gains are significant, but so are the obstacles in laying the Middle Corridor of the New Silk Road.
Better infrastructure will not make Iran's economic success inevitable, but it certainly will shape the strategic landscape in which Iran makes its future decisions.
A new link in the North-South Transport Corridor connecting Russia, Iran, and India could have far-reaching implications for economic patterns between Europe and Asia.
A selection of the top projects we’re watching this year.
If decades of torrid growth have been the opening scene on Asia’s economic stage, the region’s reconnecting—through new roads, railways, and other infrastructure—could be the next act.