Press digest

2018 July 30

Tehran keen to activate North-South corridor with help of Baku – Azerbaijani minister

Azerbaijan’s Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade said that Azerbaijan and Iran have agreed to reduce tariffs on interstate cargo transit as part of efforts to activate the International North-South Transport Corridor.

“Iran is keen to activate the International North-South Transport Corridor with the help of Azerbaijan. It has held talks with India and Russia in this regard,” Guluzade said in a recent with Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi in Tehran, IRNA reported on July 30.

The major transit route is designed to facilitate the transportation of goods from Mumbai to Helsinki, using Iranian ports and railroads, which the Islamic Republic plans to connect to those of Azerbaijan and Russia.

He added that transit and customs obstacles need to be removed, noting that the two sides have agreed to facilitate cargo transit between the two neighboring nations.

The INSTC will connect Iran with Russia’s Baltic ports and give Russia rail connectivity to both the Persian Gulf and the Indian rail network.

This means goods could be carried from Mumbai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas and further to Baku. They could then pass across the Russian border into Astrakhan before proceeding to Moscow and St. Petersburg, before proceeding toward Europe.

The corridor would substantially cut the travel time for everything from Asian consumer goods to Central Eurasia’s natural resources to advanced European exports.

When completed, the INSTC is expected to increase the volume of commodities currently traded between Iran and Azerbaijan from 600,000 tons to 5 million tons per year, dramatically increasing bilateral trade from the current $500 million per year.