Jan 11, 2018, 12:02 AM
News Code: 82792185
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Minister terms Iran's Chabahar port as gate to other nations

New Delhi, Jan 10, IRNA - Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi termed Iran's Chabahar port by the Oman Sea in southeast of the country as the “Gate of Nations.'

Addressing a seminar to explore business opportunities between Iran and India on Wednesday, he highlighted the importance of joint coordination and efforts to enhance cooperation between the two countries and said Iran, India, Afghanistan and all other countries which have an interest in the project should join hands to operationalize Chabahar port.
He noted that 'Iran and India are focusing on enhancing their cooperation through three main corridors, namely the International North-South Corridor known as the INSC which passes through India and Iran to Russia. We introduced another corridor within this INSC which goes west to Europe and I think it is very important for both of Iran and India. And the third one goes to east through Afghanistan and Central Asian countries and finally to China.'
As for the achievements of the Iranian partners to the agreement, Akhundi said that Iran-Azerbaijan railway track in north of Iran has been completed and is to be inaugurated next week. Also another railway link connecting Qazvin to Rasht in northwest of the country - to be inaugurated in three months - and then continue from Rasht to Astara will give us double access from our ports to West and Russia.
The Iranian Minister further stated that 'This project is very important as it connects South Asia to Russia through a railway network. Joint efforts to advance railway and transportation projects will make 2018 a landmark year in the history of Iran-India connectivity cooperation. Given the rapid pace of development in Iran, transportation in road and railway sectors are growing very fast so the important point now is to how commercialize the corridor.'
Emphasizing the important role of private sectors in both countries in marketing for the port, Akhundi said: 'Apart from what the two governments are doing, business people should step ahead to commercialize the port. The private sector of India should also focus on the vast potential of cooperation existing in the Iranian shipping and airspace sectors.'
To promote cooperation between the two countries in such areas as energy, he suggested that 'India and Iran should establish a joint company to be based in Iran which could use the Iranian gas. India and Iran can establish some logistic centers in Chabahar in order to decrease the cost. For example, establishing Urea fertilizer and phosphate fertilizer plant which India is interested in, can decrease the final cost.'
' We can do this in two ways, one way is that the Indian government buys gas from Iran and does everything else in India. Another way is to create a company in a free zone or the mainland Iran so India can do part of the added value activities inside Iran. Thus we should focus on logistic chain also. If a logistics center is made, part of the value added phosphate fertilizers can be done in these centers. There are many phosphate mines in neighboring countries which India can import. We are looking at this corridor as a developing one not only transportation corridor,' Akhundi added.
Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Development reiterated that Iran has named Chabahar as the “Gate of Nations” which means no country can go alone.
Akhundi arrived in the Indian capital on Wednesday to promote transportation cooperation between the two countries.
He is accompanied by a delegation comprising officials from both government and private sector companies.

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