Trade with neighbors being resumed as borders reopening

May 19, 2020 - 12:17

TEHRAN- While Iran’s borders are being reopened, the county’s trade with its neighbors is being resumed as well.

On Saturday, Deputy Head of Iran-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce Amanollah Shahnavazi said that the two countries’ border bazaars are gradually resuming activities following the reopening of the border crossings.

The Mirjaveh border (Pakistan's official border with Iran) has been open for two days and border markets are gradually reopening, Shahnavazi said.

"Currently, only basic goods and foodstuff are allowed to cross the Mirjaveh border, but it has been decided for other goods to be exported during the current week,” he added.

Referring to the suspension of about 800 trucks in the last three months at the Mirjaveh border, Shahnavazi said: "Currently, only 10 trucks with food and basic goods are allowed to cross the border every day, which has caused severe traffic on this border."

The trucks often carry ceramics, tiles, gas, food, and groceries, and it will take at least two months for the traffic in this border to ease, according to the official.

Shahnavazi also noted that since the reopening of the Mirjaveh border, about 23 trucks that were registered at the customs system last year, have been able to enter Pakistan.

Pakistan first closed its eastern and western borders with Iran, Afghanistan, and India on March 15 to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

The border markets of Iran and Pakistan are mostly based in Sistan-Baluchestan Province in southeastern Iran. 

The bazaars of the province are located in Mirjaveh, Kuhak, Pishin, Jaleq, and Riman.

Also on Sunday, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) published on its news portal that the Iranian customs officials discussed reopening of Mehran border with Iraqi partners to resume trade as both nations have taken health measures to guarantee hygienic transportation of goods.

Director-General of the Customs Office of Iran’s western Ilam Province Rouhollah Gholami said that the Iranian envoy in Baghdad is seriously pursuing the issue.

The coronavirus outbreak caused a two-month halting of trade activity between Iran and Iraq via this border, he said adding that necessary health measures have been taken to resume trade activity through this border.”

Mehran, a key border spot between the two countries, was one of the first borders closed down after the spread of the new coronavirus.

Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan also reached an agreement before reopening the Shushmi border to cargo traffic under the supervision of a medical team and the police.

Drivers welcomed the re-opening of the border which links the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq with Iran, saying that many lost their jobs because of its closure. The border still remains closed for tourists and the regular passage of people.

Meanwhile, according to local authorities, Iran has resumed exports to neighboring Afghanistan through the Milak border crossing in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province. 

A total of 80,072 tons of goods were exported from Milak border terminal to Afghanistan during the first month of the current Iranian year (March 20-April 19), said Teymour Baqeri, the deputy head of the province’s Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization.

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