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‘Regional trade to increase via Afghanistan-Iran borders’

By: The Kabul Times

KABUL: 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 and Afghan borders.

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 Iranian officials.

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.

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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