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Iran wants to expand economic, cultural ties with Afghanistan

in Afghan Business

Iran wants to expand economic, cultural ties with Afghanistan

iran ambassadorIranian Ambassador to Afghanistan Abul Fazl Zohrehvand discussed strengthening economic, scientific and cultural ties with Afghanistan during his visit in Kandahar with provincial officials.

He underlined the further expansion of relations with Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar port, which will soon be connected to the Central Asia via Afghanistan through a road and a rail link.

“Afghanistan will be connected to the Central Asian states by bringing the Chabahar (Southern Iran) route to operation,” the Iranian envoy said, reminding the geopolitical importance of the rail link for Afghanistan.

World trade experts believe that the corridor will cause a jump in regional trade and economy.

The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) was established in 2000 by Iran, Russia and India in order to promote transportation cooperation among the members. Later Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Oman, Syria and Bulgaria joined the corridor.

The corridor joins Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea through Iran and then reaches to St. Petersburg and North Europe via Russia.

Managing-Director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways Abdulali Saheb-Mohammadi said in May 2012 that Indian companies have indicated their willingness to help Iran construct North-South Corridor.

“We have had negotiations with the Indian side so that they can be involved in building the corridor and Iran has also announced readiness to cooperate with them,” Saheb-Mohammadi said.

India is expected to sign a contract with Iran soon for transit of Indian goods to Afghanistan via Chabahar port, media reports said in March.

Iran and India have agreed on transit of Indian goods to Afghanistan via the southern Iranian port of Chabahar in a bid to ease its exports to Afghanistan, the Indian Express newspaper quoted an informer Indian source as saying on condition of anonymity.

The Southern sea port of Chabahar has already been connected to Afghanistan with a newly built road; a move which analysts say will boost trade between the two countries and allow Afghan goods to reach foreign markets without relying on Pakistan.

The new trade route will also allow Indian goods to reach Afghan and other Central Asian markets with greater ease. (Fars News)

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