BISHKEK (TCA) — Iran says it has received a request from China to establish a connection between Pakistan’s Gwadar port, developed by Chinese companies, and Iran’s southeastern port of Chabahar which is developed with Indian investments, Iran’s PressTV reported on December 27.
Abdolrahim Kordi, the managing director of Chabahar Free Trade Zone, was quoted by Iran’s media as saying that China had informed Iran that it was interested in using Chabahar to transit goods from Gwadar to countries of the region and beyond.
Kordi emphasized that there was no competition between Iran’s Chabahar and Pakistan’s Gwadar, stressing that the two could complement each other in terms of market access potentials.
Nevertheless, the official emphasized that the advantages of Chabahar were better than Gwadar’s in terms of road and rail connection facilities to key transportation points in Central Asia and Europe.
Iran started an ambitious project to develop Chabahar port in 2007 through an investment that officials previously said already amounted to $1 billion.
The annual cargo tonnage of the port has now almost tripled to reach as high as 8.5 million tons.
The overall development project is planned in four phases and is expected to bring the port’s total annual cargo capacity to 82 million tons.
The development of Chabahar port is being carried out by India. The country has committed $500 million to Chabahar which lies on the Gulf of Oman, aiming to join an increasingly important transport corridor to the resource-rich regional countries.
When development is complete, Chabahar will link with the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) which currently stretches from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf to Central Asia, Russia, and Europe.