Aquatic products exported to Thailand from Chabahar port for first time

July 31, 2020 - 10:59

TEHRAN- Iran exported aquatic products to Thailand from its southeastern Chabahar port for the first time, a provincial official told IRNA on Thursday.

Behrouz Aqaei, the director-general of Ports and Maritime Department of Sistan-Baluchestan Province, where the strategic port is located, said this was Iran's first cargo ship of non-edible fishes which left Chabahar for the Indian commercial port of Mundra to trans-ship its goods to Bangkok port, Thailand as its final destination.

Also, Afghanistan has sent its cargo ship carrying different products, including dried fruits, to China and India through Shahid Beheshti port of Chabahar as well, Aqaei added.

As the official said, the ship carrying Afghan goods has been the fourth which departed for India, China, and Thailand via Chabahar port during the past month.

The departure took place based on the 2016 trilateral agreement between Tehran, Kabul and New Delhi, when Iran, India, and Afghanistan decided to jointly establish a trade route for the land-locked Central Asian countries.

India sent its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through Chabahar port back in 2017.

Later on, Afghanistan officially started exporting goods to India through Chabahar port in a ceremony held in early February 2019.

The event was attended by the Afghan president, along with the Iranian ambassador to Kabul, and Indian ambassador to Afghanistan.

In November 2019, Afghanistan Ambassador to Tehran Abdul Ghafoor Liwal said his country was planning to increase commodity transit through Iranian Chabahar port.

“Chabahar is an economic and a transit bridge for Afghanistan and we are going to expand our economic relations through increasing exports and imports through Chabahar,” he said.

As Iran's only oceanic port, Chabahar consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti, each of which has five berths.

Iran has awarded the development project of this port to India, and the South Asian country committed $500 million to build two new berths in this port.

India has doubled the allocated funding for the development of the port in its national budget bill for 2020.

On Thursday, Hossein Shahdadi, the deputy director-general of Sistan-Baluchestan Province’s Ports and Maritime Department, told IRNA that the main goal of Chabahar port development plan is to give a boost to the volume of transit and exports from the country.  

He said the loading and unloading of commodities in the port of Chabahar has witnessed a remarkable growth over the past two years.  

He said that Chabahar port is the safest and the most economically efficient route for the export and import of commodities from India, Afghanistan and CIS countries.

Some 60,000 tons of wheat have been transited from India to Afghanistan through Chabahar port since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year which shows a significant growth in comparison to figures from the same period last year, Shahdadi said.

Chabahar is a port city located some 645 km south of Zahedan, the center of Sistan-Baluchestan Province, which lies by Oman Sea.

Given its strategic location as well as infrastructure and capacities, Chabahar port will become the country’s third trade hub soon, Iran’s acting minister of industry, mining, and trade stated on July 10, in a meeting of Sistan-Baluchestan Province’s Economic Taskforce.

Hossein Modares Khiabani said that Chabahar enjoys high potential for the exports and transit of commodities, which can make it Iran’s third trade hub after Bandar-Abbas Port (in southern Hormozgan Province) and Imam Khomeini Port (in southwestern Bushehr Province).

The official further put emphasis on the necessity of facilitating all trade processes in Chabahar to expedite its development.

Chabahar is Iran’s only oceanic port and given its strategic location in the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) development of the port is of high significance for Iran.

During a ceremony on starting the track-laying operations of the Chabahar-Zahedan railroad on July 7, Deputy Transport Minister Kheirollah Khademi underlined the significance of the railroad and noted that due to its strategic position, Chabahar port is going to be a gateway for the country’s trade.

The project which is aimed to connect Chabahar to Zahedan, is planned to be completed by the end of the Iranian calendar year of 1400 (March 2022).

The total length of this railroad is 628 kilometers (km), 150 km of which will be laid by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 2021), Khademi announced.

Establishing an all-rail corridor in the east of the country, connecting Chabahar as the country’s only oceanic port to the national railway network, developing Makran coasts through rail transportation, connecting Central Asia and Afghanistan to open ocean waters, and establishing permanent cooperation with countries in the region and other countries with trade and transit exchanges are reported to be some of the goals of Chabahar-Zahedan railway project.

MA/MA

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