TEHRAN – Iran’s southern Chabahar port is ready to host a trade center for the Indian private sector, an official at the Chabahar Free Zone Department said on Thursday, noting that necessary talks have been held in this regard.
Nasrollah Ebrahimi told IRNA that senior Iranian foreign ministry officials have held talks with Indian officials during their recent trip to India.
The official said that the Chabahar Free Zone will turn into a transit hub once its transport and energy infrastructures are completed.
Even with the current capabilities, some 10 million tons of goods can be transited via the Chabahar Free Zone per year, he added.
Back in May, Iranian Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni said that the two ocuntries are trying to diversify the channels of payments to expand bilateral trade.
“We are trying to diversify the channels of payments and accordingly wish to extend and expand an already existing mechanism in order to cover all of the goods and services including all of non–oil goods,” Chegeni said.
As Iran’s only oceanic port on the Gulf of Oman, Chabahar port holds great significance for the country both politically and economically. The country has taken serious measures for developing this port in order to improve the country’s maritime trade.
The port consists of Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti terminals, each of which has five berth facilities. The port is located in Iran’s Sistan-Balouchestan Province and is about 120 kilometers southwest of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, where the China-funded Gwadar port is situated.
In May 2016, India, Iran, and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement for the strategically-located Chabahar to give New Delhi access to Kabul and Central Asia.
Based on an agreement with Iran, India is going to install and operate modern loading and unloading equipment including mobile harbor cranes in Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/474497/Iran-welcomes-Indian-private-sector-to-open-trade-center-in-Chabahar