Mention the significance of straits and isthmus in international trade. (Answer in 250 words) 15M

A strait refers to a narrow body of water connecting two larger bodies of water, serving as a passage or thoroughfare for ships. Examples of such straits include the Malacca Strait, the Gibraltar Strait, and others.

An isthmus, on the other hand, refers to a narrow strip of land that connects two larger landmasses and separates two bodies of water. One such example is the Isthmus of Suez, which connects Africa and Asia.

Significance of Straits and Isthmus in international trade

  • They reduce the distance between places and facilitate greater trade. For example, the Suez Canal on the Isthmus of Suez enables ships to avoid circumnavigating Africa, promoting trade between Asia and Europe.
  • Straits and isthmuses also provide good harbors and ports, promoting international trade. For instance, the Singapore port on the Malacca Strait.
  • They provide connectivity between larger landmasses and water bodies. For example, the Panama Canal on the Isthmus of Panama connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
  • They revolutionize the shipping industry by facilitating efficient transportation.
  • They provide a bridge between the demand and supply of commodities. For example, Japan buys iron ore from India through the Strait of Malacca.
  • They promote environmentally friendly shipping. For instance, by making the Palk Strait deeper, Indian ships could avoid circumnavigating Sri Lanka, reducing fuel consumption while transporting goods from Vizag to Kochin.
  • They facilitate the export and import of international trade in tourism services by providing recreational services along the coasts of isthmuses and straits.
  • They provide good grounds for fishing and aquaculture, promoting international trade in marine products.
  • They also provide strategic locations for defense establishments, promoting international trade by providing security from pirates.

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