Baku, Tehran to boost co-op via Alat, Astara, Anzali ports –deputy minister (Exclusive)
Tehran, Iran, June 26
By Kamyar Eghbalnejad, A. Shirazi - Trend:
Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development of Iran and the managing director of Iran Ports and Maritime Organization said Azerbaijan and Iran are keen to increase their port and maritime cooperation through their free trade zones (FTZ) in Alat and Anzali.
“Iran and Azerbaijan are keen to use each other’s potential in the field of port and maritime activities,” Mohammad Rastad told Trend.
During a recent meeting held between Iranian officials and the director of Baku port, the two nations decided to further tap their sources and potential and boost their maritime cooperation, he added.
“Now that a rail link from Azerbaijan has reached the Iranian city of Astara and later to northern port of Anzali, the two countries could have good cooperation in the areas of rail transportation, rail link services and port,” Rastad said.
Referring to the significance of the free trade zone of Alat near Baku, he said the zone could prepare the ground for Baku port’s boom.
He said the Iranian government has implemented good development projects in the port of Anzali, and the private sector is also investing in Astara port.
“There are currently good opportunities for both sides to use their potential and capacities in the sectors of port and transportation,” Rastad said.
Elsewhere in the interview, he referred to investment plans underway in the Iranian strategic port of Chabahar, adding that a plan to build a 900km railroad from the Afghan province of Bamiyan to Chabahar Port is also going ahead smoothly.
India has finalized a plan to build the railroad from the Afghan province of Bamiyan to Chabahar Port. It has also already spent $100 million on building a 220km road in the Afghan province of Nimruz, which will be extended to Chabahar.
Once the development project is complete, Chabahar will be linked with the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), which currently stretches from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf to Russia, Eurasia and Europe.