Baku, Azerbaijan, April 16
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran plans to boost trade and economic ties with the Caspian littoral countries via Anzali port in the country's northern Gilan province.
Deputy governor of the Gilan province, Mohammad Hossein Asgharian said that the province's potentials should be mobilized for effective presence in the regional markets, Iranian IRNA news agency reported on April 16.
Asgharian made the remarks during a meeting of Iranian exporters with Gilan province officials on April 15.
Asgharian went on to say that completing the Qazvin-Rasht-Anzali railway project, construction of a new port in the Caspian Sea and development of the Anzali port are among the administration's plans for boosting the province's transit capabilities.
The Director General of the Gilan province ports, Farhad Montaser Kouhsar said that the capacity of Anzali port will increase from current level of 10 million tons per year to 17 million tons.
During the meeting, Iranian MP Hassan Khasteband also emphasized the necessity of establishing Air Lines between Gilan province and the Caspian Sea littoral countries.
Khasteband also remarked that the Anzali Free Trade-Industrial Zone which is located in north-south corridor provides a unique profitable economic opportunity for the province.
The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) was established in 2000 by Iran, Russia and India in order to promote transportation cooperation among the members.
Later Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Oman, Syria and Bulgaria joined the corridor.
The corridor joins Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea through Iran and then reaches to St. Petersburg and North Europe via Russia.
Anzali Free Zone is located in the south of Caspian Sea and includes industrial, trade and commercial, tourism and services sections.
Iran exported 258,000 tons of goods, worth $142 million, from Anzali Free Trade Zone during the Iranian calendar year of 1391 (ended March 20, 2013), some 95 percent more than in the previous year.
According to the Iranian officials most trade exchanges from Anzali Free Trade Zone were made by Caucasian, East European, Latin American and North American countries as well as those bordering the Gulf and the Caspian Sea.