Kazakhstan looking to expand export transits through Iran

The Central Asian nation says its wants to develop terminals in northern and southern Iran to transit the Kazakh wheat to various countries more easily.

15 June 2019
ID : 22043
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The Central Asian nation says its wants to develop terminals in northern and southern Iran to transit the Kazakh wheat to various countries more easily.

Kazakh Ambassador to Iran Askhat Orazbay, left, holds talks with Gholam Hossein Shafei, President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) in Tehran on Wednesday. IRAN CHAMBER NEWSROOM/Bahare Taghi Abadi

Kazakhstan is seeking to use Iran as a strategic transit hub in a bid to boost its exports to the Persian Gulf countries, East Asia and Europe.

“I have recently visited Amir Abad Port [in the northern Iranian Mazandaran Province on the shores of the Caspian Sea] and Shahid Rajai Port [in the southern Iranian Hormozgan Province on the shores of the Persian Gulf] and it was agreed that they give us some parts of the ports to build terminals through the Kazakh government investment,” said Kazakh Ambassador to Iran Askhat Orazbay on Wednesday.

He was meeting with Gholam Hossein Shafei, President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) in Tehran.

He said the Iranian government has also proposed that Kazakh government develop its own terminals in the strategic Chabahar Port in the south-eastern Sistan and Baluchistan Province.

The Iranian port, on Makran Coasts, located on the Sea of Oman, is Iran’s only exit way to international waters and exempted from the US sanctions as India needs to develop it to transit its exports to Afghanistan.

Orazbay said the project is very important for Kazakhstan as it is the biggest wheat producer in Central Asia.

He added that the new Kazakh government is keen on expanding and developing its economic relations with Iran.

He called on Iran Chamber of Commerce to host an Iran-Kazakhstan business forum in a bid to help raise the awareness between Iranian and Kazakh economic operators about business opportunities in both countries.

The Kazakh envoy to Iran welcomed the establishment of a direct flight between Tehran and Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis.

“The Iranian airline Mahan Air has established the flight that is carried out once a week and we hope it is realised twice a week,” he noted.

Orazbay said the Kazakh Embassy in Iran is negotiating direct flights from Gorgan, the provincial capital of Golestan Province to the Kazakh city of Aktau on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

Head of the Kazakh mission in Iran noted that several Iranian companies are actively carrying out economic activities in Kazakhstan, adding that several Kazakh firms are active in Iran, especially in mining sector.

He mentioned that another Kazakh firm is weighing 70-million-dollar investment in the western Iranian Kurdistan Province.

Orazbay and Shafei both stressed that Iran’s joining a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will pave the way for boosting bilateral trade between Iran and Kazakhstan.

Iran and Kazakhstan share maritime border on the Caspian Sea. The two have vast political relations and are increasing their economic ties.

Back in January, Iran received the first shipment of Chinese cargos through Kazakhstan.

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