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First ‘Silk Road’ train arrives in Iran from China bypassing Afghanistan

in Afghan Business

First ‘Silk Road’ train arrives in Iran from China bypassing Afghanistan

The first ‘Silk Road’ train arrived in Tehran, Iran from eastern Zheijang province bypassing Afghanistan.

The 9,500km journey through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan took 14 days, which was 30 days shorter than the sea voyage from Shanghai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.

Run by private companies using existing routes, the train was carrying 32 containers of Chinese products.

More than a third of Iran’s foreign trade is with China, which is Tehran’s top customer for exports.

“The revival of the Silk Road is crucial for the countries on its route,” said head of the Iranian railway company, Mohsen Pourseyed Aqayi.

He added that the railway would not stop in Tehran “as we are planning to extend the railway to Europe in future.”

According to Aqayi, the train will leave every month and the frequency will be increased if necessary.

This comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani agreed last month to build economic ties worth up to USD 600bn within the next 10 years.

President Jinping visited Tehran, the first by a Chinese president in 14 years, days after sanctions against Tehran were lifted.

The train bypassed Afghanistan which could shorten the distance even further from China to Iran due to its central location on the ancient silk road due to insecurity and failure of government leadership to convince investors to lay railway lines across the country to connect China to Middle Easte.


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