Iran, India, Afghanistan pen trilateral transit pact

May 23, 2016 - 19:24

TEHRAN- Iran, India and Afghanistan signed a tripartite trade and transit corridor agreement on Chabahar port in Tehran on Monday, which allows the three countries open new routes to connect among themselves via converting the Iranian southern Port of Chabahar into a transit hub bypassing Pakistan.

Accordingly, through Chabahar port India can bypass Pakistan and transport goods to Afghanistan and central Asia, while Afghanistan can get linked to India via sea.
The document was signed in the presence of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Tehran, New Delhi call for comprehensive, strategic economic ties

President Rouhani and Prime Minister Modi in a joint Monday meeting in Tehran underlined the necessity of seizing the existent opportunities and potentials to broaden the bilateral comprehensive and strategic economic ties between the two sides.
During the meeting, the Indian part signed 12 agreements with the Islamic Republic in different economic areas including investing billions of dollars in setting up industries, ranging from aluminum smelter to urea plants, in Iran's Chabahar free trade zone on the Persian Gulf nation's southeastern coast.
As Times of India reported, the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran and the India Ports Global Pvt signed an agreement on the development of Chabahar port. 
Meanwhile, the Finance and Economic Affairs Ministry of Iran and the Exim Bank of India; the Indian National Aluminum Company (Nalco) and the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO); and the Indian Railway PSU IRCON and the Iranian Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructures Company signed agreements.
After the signing ceremony of the accorded agreements and in a common press conference with the Indian prime minister, President Rouhani noted that after the implementation of Iran’s nuclear deal with P5+1, the ground is set for expansion of mutual ties with India and the two countries can take advantage of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) in this regard. 

Chabahar, potential hub for regional multifaceted cooperation: Rouhani

As the Iranian president said, Chabahar can become a very big symbol of cooperation between the two countries. “Chabahar port can serve as a point of connectivity between different countries, especially India and Afghanistan,” he added, “It can also play a pivotal role in Iran-India cooperation on various industries including aluminum, steel, and petrochemicals.”
Rouhani named biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology (IT), as well as space and aerospace technologies as other industries where the two sides can collaborate on.
According to him, while fulfilling India’s need for oil and gas, the Islamic Republic is ready to make investments in different sectors such as establishing refineries in that country. 
“To develop Chabahar port and the railway in the region, we can benefit from the investments made by other Asian and European countries as well as their technology,” Rouhani added. 

Modi urges joint investments to double in 5 years

The Indian prime minister expressed discontent with the volume of current Iran-India economic relations and emphasized that as the result of the annulment of unfair sanctions against Iran, the joint investments between the two sides should grow twice more than its current level in the upcoming five years.
“The agreement to develop Chabahar port for which India will provide $500 million is a key milestone,” Modi said, “The outcomes and agreements signed today open a new chapter in our strategic partnership.” 
He also added that Chabahar-Zahedan-Mashhad railway, which links Chabahar Port with Afghanistan and Central Asia, can boost bilateral economic cooperation between Iran and India and also other regional countries.




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