Afghanistan’s first transit goods to China via Iran’s southeastern Chabahar Port was shipped, the director-general of Ports and Maritime Department of Sistan-Baluchestan Province, where Chabahar lies, announced on Sunday.
Behrouz Aghaei said the shipment was carried out through Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar, IRNA reported.
The official further said that while the world is affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar has taken a big step to facilitate trade between Central Asian countries and Afghanistan with the countries of South and Southeast Asia and the Far East by establishing regular container transportation services.
Stating that Afghanistan’s first transit shipment of dried fruit was sent to Tianjin Port in China, he said that the cargo was sent to the Indian port of Mundra via Chabahar, which was unloaded at this port and loaded on another ship to its final destination.
During the past month, Afghanistan sent three transit consignments to India via Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar, Mehr news agency reported on Sunday.
On July 1, Aghaei announced that Afghanistan sent 39 containers with a total capacity of 76 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to India through Iran’s southeastern Chabahar port, IRIB reported.
According to the official, 30 refrigerated containers and nine conventional ones (a total of 76 TEUs) were shipped from Chabahar Port on June 30 heading for the Indian ports of Mandra and Nhava Sheva.
In 2016, Iran, India, and Afghanistan decided to jointly establish a trade route for land-locked Central Asian countries.
India sent its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through Iran’s 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 Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, along with Iranian Ambassador to Kabul Mohammadreza Bahrami and Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar.
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.
Earlier this month, Head of Iran-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce Hossein Salimi announced that the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has approved Afghanistan’s Ghazanfar Bank to open a branch in southeastern Chabahar Port for facilitating trade activities in the port.
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.
Source: Tehran Times