Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will inaugurate the first phase of the Chabahar port development project on Sunday, with senior Afghan and Indian Ministers travelling for the event.
- The building of Phase 1 of the Chabahar port has been completed by the Iranian side.
- It will enhance trade in the region”, with a final aim to connect not just to Afghanistan via rail but also to the 7,200-km International North-South Transport Corridor to Russia.
Iran’s parliament, or Majlis , recently ratified the trilateral trade agreement signed by Prime Minister Narenda Modi, President Rouhani and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in May 2016.
- it will effectively pave the way for India to carry forward the next phase of construction and development of two berths for its use, particularly for trade with Afghanistan.
- Next, the government, which has committed $500 million to the port project, will develop a free-trade area around the port, and finally will complete the loop with a $1.6-billion railway line to Zahedan.
- India has already completed the Zaranj-Delaram highway in Afghanistan, which would facilitate the trade to Kabul and eventually beyond to Central Asia.
At present, India is using the port’s existing commercial route to transport more than 1.1 million tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan, of which the first consignment of 15,000 tonnes from the Kandla port came to Zaranj, via Chabahar, on November 11.