2022 GS1 Answer

Q. Mention the significance of straits and isthmus in international trade.

Question from UPSC Mains 2022 GS1 Paper

Model Answer:

Significance of Straits and Isthmus in International Trade

Straits and isthmus are important geographical features that play a crucial role in international trade. Straits are narrow channels of water that connect two larger bodies of water, while isthmus refers to a narrow strip of land that connects two larger land areas. Here are some of the reasons why straits and isthmus are significant in international trade:

Strategic Locations

Straits and isthmus are often located in strategic locations that make them important for international trade. They can provide the shortest and most efficient routes for transportation of goods between two regions or continents.

Reduced Transportation Costs

By providing a shorter route, straits and isthmus can reduce transportation costs for international trade. This is particularly important for large cargo ships that would have to travel much farther if these features did not exist.

Boosting International Trade

Straits and isthmus can also boost international trade by providing access to new markets and facilitating the movement of goods between regions. This can help to increase economic growth and promote international cooperation.

Gateway for Oil and Gas Transportation

Many of the world’s major oil and gas pipelines pass through straits and isthmus. These features are important for the transportation of oil and gas from producing regions to consuming regions. The Suez Canal, for example, is a major trade route for oil and gas between Europe and Asia.

Conflict and Security

Straits and isthmus can also be a source of conflict and security concerns. As they are often narrow and easy to control, they can be used to block or disrupt trade routes. The Strait of Hormuz, for example, is a key chokepoint for the transportation of oil from the Persian Gulf to the rest of the world, making it a potential target for political or military action.

In conclusion, straits and isthmus play a critical role in international trade by providing strategic routes for transportation, reducing transportation costs, and facilitating access to new markets. However, they also pose potential security risks and can be a source of conflict. As such, they require careful management and coordination to ensure that they continue to benefit international trade and promote economic growth.

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