Afghan trade through Iranian Chabahar sea port is on the rise
The development of trade through Chabahar port, along with the expansion of trade with India and Iran, will pave the way for the increase in India's investment in Afghanistan's mining and infrastructure projects. The ministry of commerce and industry says the new Chabahar transit and trade agreement has been approved by the Iranian parliament and that the capacity of loading and offloading has improved at the port. The Ministry officials say that although more work is still needed to be done on the port, Afghanistan, India and other countries in the region can now use the port for commercial purposes. The ministry officials say India and Iran are investing heavily in developing the port and efforts are on to increase Afghan investment. “Investment from India, China, and Iran are increasing in Chabahar port, and we are trying to get Afghanistan to also invest in the port,” the head of the transit department of the ministry, Mohammad Yahya Akhlaqi, said. Chabahar port is 871.9km from Zaranj, the capital of Nimroz province, while Karachi port is 1,416km from Torkham. Many economists say that if Iran and India provide more opportunities to Afghan businessmen, this route will be an alternative to Pakistan's Karachi port. “The Chabahar port has good transportation and transit benefits for Afghans, and I think that soon, the Iranian port of Chabahar will be an alternative to Pakistan’s Karachi port and routes," said Abdul Karim Arifi, an economist. The Chabahar port is the closest port for Afghanistan. Meanwhile, many businessmen said that Chabahar port could become an important route for Afghanistan in the long term. Although the Chabahar port is a new port and still need work, this port is in the Free Zone of Chabahar and Iran and India are trying to ease trade for Afghanistan. >>> READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE WRITTEN BY 'HEART OF ASIA'