Aug 19, 2019, 2:42 PM
Journalist ID: 2078
News Code: 83443489
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Caspian Port's joining North-South Corridor to boost business transactions

Rasht, August 19, IRNA- Following Iran's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union, it is predicted that there will be a boom in business transactions between Iran and Russia", said the managing director of Anzali Free Trade Zone during a meeting with the managing director of Astrakhan Special Economic Zone (Lotus).

During the meeting, Reza Masroor described the Russian Federation as a strategic trade partner for Iran and said Anzali Free Trade Zone and the Caspian Port have been designed to work with Russia and other countries bordering the Caspian Sea and that so far, great steps have been taken by the two countries in order to expand bilateral cooperation. 

Referring to an MoU on cooperation among Astrakhan Special Economic Zone, Anzali Free Trade Zone, and Chabahar Free Trade Zone in order to promote trade activities through the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), Masroor said India, as the fourth party, has also signed the memorandum and that the first trade cargo will be soon exported from Saint Petersburg to Anzali Free Trade Zone, which will be then exported from the Caspian Port to India.

The managing director of Anzali Free Trade Zone noted that promoting trade activities through the North-South Transport Corridor would be beneficial for the Islamic Republic. He added that doing trade through this channel would considerably decrease the costs and time span of commodity transport would lead to an economic boom in Russia, Iran, and India. 

Caspian Port is located in Iran’s Gilan province. It is part of Anzali Free Trade Zone on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. The free trade zone is regarded as one of the major economic hubs of Iran with an area of 9,400 hectares of land and 40km shoreline. It is seen as the entrance and exit point of the International North-South Transport Corridor. Currently, Iran is developing a railroad project to connect the Rasht-Qazvin railway to Anzali and Astara ports. Another line is also under construction which will link Rasht to Caspian Port. Once the project is complete, Caspian Port will become the largest hub in northern Iran and make a major contribution to national and local economic development. The route will connect Iran with Russia’s Baltic ports and give Russia rail connectivity to both the Persian Gulf and the Indian rail network. All the mentioned projects are meant to contribute to achieving INSTC’s envisaged plans.

In May 2018, member states of the Eurasian Economic Union and Iran signed a three-year provisional agreement for the bloc to welcome Iran into the EAEU. The deal is the first step in implementing free trade between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the union’s five members. It lowers or abolishes customs duties, setting off a three-year process for a permanent trade agreement. The EAEU comprises of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan, countries located to the north of a region in northern Asia and Eastern Europe which is called Eurasia.

The International North-South Transport Corridor is a flagship project with a total length of 7,200 kilometers. The multi-model route links India to Europe via the Middle East, Caucasus, and Central Asia. The ship, road, and rail route connects India’s Mumbai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas and further to Baku in Azerbaijan as well as Astrakhan, Moscow and Saint Petersburg in Russia before stretching to northern Europe and Scandinavia. Besides Iran, India and Russia, countries that are on board to integrate into the transit network include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Turkey, Tajikistan, Oman, Syria and Bulgaria.

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