Uzbekistan urges enhanced trade ties with Iran

Tehran, April 11, IRNA – Uzbek First Deputy Prime Minister Achilbay Ramatov described Khaf-Herat railway as a step toward boosting mutual trade and urged speeding up the project.

Ramatov who was meeting with Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi on Tuesday, emphasized the importance of railway project between Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

In 2017, following talks with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev an agreement on Herat-Mazar Sharif railway project was signed, he said.

The 100-kilometer Hairatan-Mazar Sharif railroad was constructed in 2009 by Uzbekistan, and it was agreed that the rest of the railroad towards Herat be constructed by an international consortium with Uzbekistan's financial cooperation, he said.

Speeding up the construction of Khaf-Herat railway will make Bandar Chabahar and Bandar Abbas more accessible for shipping millions of tons of goods, the Uzbek official said.

He also said that his country is trying to boost trade ties with Iran and it will receive Iran's President Hassan Rouhani this summer.

The Iran-Uzbekistan trade target is set at 500 million dollars for this year, compared to the past year's figure that was 325 million dollars, he added.

The Iranian minister, for his part, said that the grounds for creating the logistic parks of the corridor, known as Ashgabat corridor, have been prepared in Iran's ports and border areas so that the maximum capacity of the corridor can be usd.

Akhundi also said that creating logistic parks along the corridor can be a field of trilateral cooperation if Turkmenistan wishes to join it.

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