What is International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)?

International North-South  Transport Corridor is a corridor to increase trade between India and Russia. This trade route is 7200 Km long and the transport of freight is through a multi-mode network of roads, ships, and railways. This route connects India and Russia through Iran and Azerbaijan.

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What is the objective of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)?

The earlier trade route connecting India and Russia was through the Suez Canal. Hence the major objective of the INSTC corridor was to reduce the time taken, costs incurred, and increase connectivity between major cities like Mumbai, Moscow, Astrakhan(located in Russia), Baku (Azerbaijan), Tehran, Bandar Abbas and Bandar  Anzail (All located in Iran).

Which are the founding member states of INSTC and when was the agreement signed?

Russia, India, and Iran are the founding member states of INSTC. The agreement was signed in 2002.

Which are the member states of the International North-South Transport Corridor?

There are 13 member states of the INSTC project. The list of member states is given below.

  1. India
  2. Iran
  3. Russia
  4. Azerbaijan
  5. Armenia
  6. Kazakhstan
  7. Belarus
  8. Tajikistan
  9. Kyrgystan
  10. Oman
  11. Turkey
  12. Syria
  13. Ukraine.


  • Bulgaria is the Observer State.
  • The Baltic countries like Latvia and Estonia have also expressed willingness to join the INSTC.

India and INSTC

  • India shows interest in extending INSTC membership to countries like Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
  • Establishing a land route via Kabul and Tashkent to form the INSTC’s “Eastern corridor” would maximise the potential of this collaboration. 
  • Also, India wants to include Chabahar port to be included in the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). 
  • The potential export sectors in India that benefit from INSTC include perishable goods (fruits and vegetables), high-value items like ATMs, industrial printers, 3D printers, robotic assembly accessories, etc., cross-border e-commerce, and sectors that are likewise. 

Significance of INSTC

  • The corridor is aimed at reducing the carriage cost between India and Russia by about 30% and bringing down the transit time from 40 days by more than half.
  • It could be considered as a very important corridor for the development of freight traffic in the region.
  • This corridor is capable of boosting India’s economy. Indian exports are expected to increase substantially during the next calendar year. 
  • This corridor is expected to increase market access to the member nations who can also benefit through various backward and forward linkages.

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Frequently Asked Questions on International North-South Transport Corridor


Q 1. Which countries are members of the International North-South Transport Corridor?

Ans. There are thirteen member countries of INSTC. These include India, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Ukraine, Syria. Bulgaria acts as an Observer Member.

Q 2. What is INSTC?

Ans. INSTC or International North-South Transport Corridor is a multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road routes.

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