30 August 2016
Tehran - Minister of Road and Transportation Abbas Akhundi outlined Iran's plans to expand its dry ports.
In a meeting with the Secretary General of the Transport Corridor of Europe-the Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA) Mircea Ciopraga, he highlighted Iran logistical role in the region and encouraged the official to visit Iranian ports especially Chabahar Port to get familiar with Iran's capacities both in south and north of the country.
The TRACECA official stressed the need for expansion of cooperation with Iran and called for Iran's further contribution to the organization's programs.
He said the organization in financially supported by European Commission and uses the sources to conduct its projects.
Given the positive atmosphere created in the post-sanction era, he said, the TRACSICA now has the chance to complete the transit routes passing through Iran.
International Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA) is a complex multi-modal transport system in countries of the region, which aims to develop economic and trade relations and transportation links between countries and regions that is a significant contribution to the revival of one of the most famous historical routes of the Silk way.
In September 1998, at a historic summit in Baku, 12 TRACECA countries signed the 'Basic Multilateral Agreement on International Transport for Development Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (MLA) in order to take full advantage of its geopolitical and economic opportunities.
The transport corridor TRACECA is the renaissance of the Great Silk Road, one of the ancient routes in the world. The corridor starts in the Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine) and also crosses Turkey. There are routes passing the Black Sea to the ports of Poti in Georgia, further using transport network of the Southern Caucasus, and a land connection towards this region from Turkey. From Azerbaijan by means of the Caspian ferries (Baku - Turkmenbashi, Baku - Aktau) TRACECA route reaches the railway networks of Central Asian states of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.
The transport networks of these states are connected to destinations in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and reach the borders of China and Afghanistan.
Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development of the Islamic Republic of Iran Amir Amini had already said that "Iran`s trade volume with TRACECA has increased during past years."
Amini mentioned privileged position of Anzali port in Northern Iran. In the near future and after the operation of Qazvin - Rasht - Anzali- Astara Railway, its prosperity will increase. The government of Iran has attracted foreign investment and private sector partnerships. Moreover, development of Amirabad Port in North of country is one of the most important ongoing projects. The port could be as a strategic port for TRACECA as it is provided by the most advanced equipment of loading and discharge of goods and also due to the access to the railway network of the country. This port is connected to the Iran- Turkmenistan- Kazakhstan railway and it facilitates transportation east to west and vice versa Caspian Sea via North of Iran.
Regarding the railway sector, Mr. Amini emphasized that extensive planning for next ten years has been done. Construction and operation of high speed and electric lines, wagons and locomotive modernization and increment with partnerships and investment from known countries are under way. Among the major projects are the projects of connectivity through China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Iran will complete the missing railway links of connecting China and Persian Gulf and Europe via Iran route.