Iran Launches Trade Routes Through Afghanistan For Central Asia

Date: Sep 01, 2020, 11:34

Two new key trade corridors between Iran and Central Asian countries, through Afghanistan, have been launched and are expected to considerably boost trade activities in the region. 

According to Ruhollah Latifi, spokesman for the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), the two corridors are the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Iran (KTAI) route and the Iran-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan corridor. 

He told Tehran Times that the aim of the corridors is to bolster trade via Iranian borders. 

According to IRICA, Iran sent two shipments of goods from Shahid Rajaei Port in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas to Uzbekistan via the newly established Iran-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan corridor a few weeks ago. This was a pilot operation to assess the route and proved successful.

According to IRICA Director of Transit Bureau Mostafa Ayati, the launch of the KTAI route in late July was also successful. 

Ayati said as a short and low-cost route to Central Asian countries under the TIR Convention, the development of transit corridors through Afghanistan is supported by both international bodies and the Iranian government.

He said all stakeholders were determined to develop this sector.

“The pilot opening of this corridor indicates that Afghanistan is seriously determined to develop transit in its territory and connect Central Asian countries to the southern waters, including the ports along the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman (Chabahar),” he noted.

Tehran Times reported that on July 26, Iran sent two truckloads of goods from Shahid Rajaei Port to Kyrgyzstan through the KTAI corridor for the first time.

The corridor was launched by IRICA in collaboration with the International Road Transport Union (IRU), and Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) under the framework of the TIR Convention.

The Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) is a multilateral treaty that was concluded in Geneva on 14 November 1975 to simplify and harmonize the administrative formalities of international road transport.

A third corridor, India-Iran-Afghanistan route, is another critical route for trade through Iran between India and Afghanistan. This route is already up and running. Recently the seventh shipment of wheat from India for Afghanistan arrived at Chabahar Port. 

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