TEHRAN (FNA)- A delegation of 40 Kazakh private sector and state officials in a meeting with Chairman of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce Gholamhossein Shafe’ee demanded increased trade exchanges with Tehran.
During the meeting in Tehran on Monday, Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies Aset Isekeshev, who heads the trade delegation, announced that the two countries have agreed to increase the volume of their economic ties to $5bln, and announced that another group of Kazakh traders are due to visit Iran in September.
Shafe’ee, for his part, stressed the Islamic Republic of Iran’s policy of strengthening economic relations with the neighboring and Muslim states, and said Iranian and Kazakh officials and traders are both resolved to establish closer ties between the two countries.
He said Tehran and Astana’s joint efforts in such areas as importing wheat (to Iran), export of petrochemical products (to Kazakhstan), oil and gas, cement production, building industries and transportation can provide proper grounds for increased mutual cooperation by the two countries’ private sector companies and traders.
In recent years, Iran has striven to expand its ties and cooperation with the regional states, specially those in the Central Asia.
Iranian Deputy Industry, Mines and Trade Minister Mojtaba Khosrotaj and his Kazakh counterpart in a meeting in Tehran in April conferred on ways to expand transportation and transit relations between the two countries.
During the meeting, Khosrotaj referred to the new policies proclaimed by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei for the consolidation of the relations with the neighboring states, and said, “In this directive the issue of transit has come under notice; therefore, we are studying the transit potentials of Kazakhstan’s Inche- Boroun and (Iran’s) Sarakhs regions.”
The Kazakh official, for his part, announced Astana’s readiness to increase the volume of wheat and metals exports to Iran, and expressed the hope that launching Kazakhstan’s railway would link his country to Iran’s port city of Bandar Abbas on the rims of the Persian Gulf, and that container transportation between the two countries would increase.
Also in March, Kazakh, Turkmen and Iranian officials in a meeting discussed ways to implement a joint railway project.
Representatives of the three Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member states reviewed the latest developments regarding the implementation of the railway project.
Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway is a part of the North-South international transport corridor.
The railroad is believed to create additional routes linking Kazakhstan, the central regions of Russia and Turkmenistan, Iran, Persian Gulf countries, South and Southeast Asia and increase transit freight and passenger traffic, reduce transport costs, save time for travel and cause economic growth in the regions through which it will run.
A trilateral intergovernmental agreement was signed in 2007 between Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran on the Zhanaozen-Gyzylgaya-Bereket-Etrek-Gorgan railway line with subsequent access to the Russian railway network, which will shorten the route by 600 kilometers. The construction operation started in 2009.
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