Afghanistan urges India to speed up Iran’s port development

BISHKEK (TCA) — Afghanistan has urged India to speed up the development of Iran’s strategic port of Chabahar which is to open a transport corridor to landlocked countries of Central Asia, PressTV news agency reports.

Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani met with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on September 11 and the two sides exchanged a number of agreements.

Afghanistan sees the route central to its hope of streamlining trade with India and boosting access to markets in India, Europe, the Middle East, and the world beyond.

The port would also allow India to transport goods to Afghanistan by sea and provide access to Central Asia.

On Monday, Swaraj told Rabbani that India would step up the development work and begin supplying wheat to Afghanistan within weeks through Chabahar.

India is said to have committed up to $500 million for the development of Chabahar along with associated roads and rail lines but an Iranian developer said on Monday the Indian investment is only $85 million.

Managing Director of Aria Banader Iranian Co. Yaser Ebrahimi said his company has undertaken to supply land and sea equipment for the port under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) agreement worth $403 million.

“Indians are expected to invest only $85 million in Chabahar, and this is not a big figure compared to $403 million of investment being made by Aria Banader,” Ebrahimi said.


Times of Central Asia