Kazakhstan, Iran to create transport corridor linking Iran’s ports to Central Asia
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani discussed cooperation in trade, business, transport, and agriculture in talks with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, on December 22.
Rouhani and Nazarbayev oversaw the signing of several agreements aimed at expanding bilateral economic relations. The agreements cover livestock quarantine, shipping in the Caspian Sea, tourism, and cooperation between the central banks of the two countries to facilitate mutual business.
On the sidelines of Rouhani’s visit, Iran and Kazakhstan signed an agreement to establish a joint dual-modal transportation company that could lead to the creation of a new transport corridor connecting Iran’s southern ports to Central Asia — and even possibly Russia and China, Iran’s PressTV news agency reported.
The agreement was signed between the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL) and Kazakhstan’s KTZ Express, a subsidiary of the country’s national railways company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy.
The agreement is meant to facilitate maritime transportation in the Caspian Sea, cooperation between Iran and Kazakhstan in ports and terminals issues, and connect Iran’s southern ports to Kazakhstan as well as other Central Asian countries, Iran’s IRNA news agency reported.
It can also facilitate cooperation between Tehran and Astana over the construction of port terminals as well as mutual investments by the two countries in the area of port facilities.
Iran is already working on a similar multi-modal transportation project that originates in Russia and ends in India.
The project – the North–South Transport Corridor (NSTC) – involves ship, rail and road routes and is meant to increase trade connectivity between major cities such as Moscow, Astrakhan, Baku, Tehran, Bandar Abbas and Mumbai.