The Afghan Parliament ratifies the Chabahar Transit Trade and Transportation Agreement on Sunday, November 30, 2016.
The International Transport and Transit Corridor (also known as the “Chabahar Agreement”) is a regional transport network initiative of the governments of Afghanistan, India, and Iran. It aims to create a reliable transport corridor for the smooth transport and transit of goods and services through Chabahar Port between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of India, and Islamic Republic of Iran. Among the advantages for Afghan and Indian participation in this initiative include Chabahar’s location at the crossroads of a burgeoning “North-South Corridor” (linking Central Asia, Southwest Asia, and South Asia), investment guarantees through the Iranian government and insurance companies, importation of duty-free machinery and raw materials, the free repatriation of capital and profits, and greater access by Indian companies to Afghanistan’s immense mineral wealth. Positioned as a major conduit of Indian and Iranian trade with Central Asia and Europe, Afghanistan is poised to benefit from and contribute to this new transport and transit corridor.
The trilateral transit agreement signed by India, Iran and Afghanistan allows Indian goods to reach Afghanistan through Iran. It links ports in the western coast of India to the Chabahar port and covers the road and rail links between Chabahar and the Afghan border.
Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar is located in southeastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman. It serves as Iran’s only oceanic port, and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti, each of which have five berths.
In May 2016, India and Iran signed a bilateral agreement in which India would refurbish one of the berths at Shahid Beheshti port, and reconstruct a 600 meter long container handling facility at the port. The port will provide an alternative for trade between India and Afghanistan. The port handled 2.1 million tons of cargo in 2015, and has a capacity to handle 2.5 million tons.