The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
Opinion

Chabahar Port; key hub for moving freight among India, Iran, Afghanistan

Iran and India have reached a final agreement to develop Chabahar Port in southeast Iran. Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash announced this, after his meeting with the visiting Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Tehran days ago. Bazrpash also proposed the formation of a joint transportation committee, saying that “the establishment of this committee will activate the transit capacities and utilize the North-South corridor”. After the meeting with Bazrpash, Jaishankar wrote in a post on platform X that the two sides had a “detailed and productive discussion on establishing a long-term cooperation framework with respect to Chabahar port. Also exchanged views on the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)”. The Chabahar Port has over 8.5 million tons of discharge and loading capacity. India has been push ing for the Chabahar Port project to boost regional trade, especially for its connectivity to Afghanistan since 2016, when the country signed a tripartite agreement with Iran and Afghanistan to develop the terminal. Located in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, the Chabahar Port is seen as a key hub for the 7,200- km-long multi-mode transport project INSTC for moving freight among India, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe. With the Islamic Emirate takeover, Afghanistan has opened the doors of economic interactions with all countries in the region based on a neutral, balanced, and economyoriented foreign policy, and through this, good opportunities to access the markets of Afghanistan and develop economic relations have been provided to all countries, especially the neighbors. Currently, the economic relations between Iran and Afghanistan have grown and developed more and more. If, after a slight stagnation, the level of commercial transactions of both sides has taken on a normal routine and is reaching the limit of the previous situation. With starting trade through the Chabahar Port, Afghanistan can easily export its products to other countries in the region and world. With the IEA takeover, the overall security situation has improved and a good environment has been provided for the neighboring countries particularly to invest and boost trade with Afghanistan. Iran has already announced that it will increase trade with Afghanistan as both countries would like to increase the trade to $10 billion. During the recent meeting of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate on Economic Affairs Mullah Abdul Ghani Beradar, the advisor of the Iranian President’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Affairs has said that Iran’s economic strategy regarding Afghanistan is to increase bilateral trade to ten billion dollars in a period of 3 to 5 years and to take many measures in this field in the short term. Among the important things that Iran has undertaken to reach the ten billion dollar trade horizon with Afghanistan are things like providing transit facilities, activating railway lines, especially the Khawaf-Herat railway line, imposing preferential tariffs on some commercial items, activating more customs ports on the border with Afghanistan, creating more facilities in customs, including 24-hour processing of customs affairs, providing free trade zones to Afghanistan and signing memorandums of understanding to strengthen trade relations between the two countries, as the most recent of which has been done during Mullah Berader’s visit to Iran. Mashal Noori

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.