Iran, Kazakhstan sign road transport agreement

MNA – Iran and Kazakhstan have signed an agreement on issuing permits for truckers commuting between the two countries in a bid to boost mutual cooperation in road transportation.

The deal was signed during a meeting by a high-ranking delegation from Iran Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization and Kazakhstani officials in Astana on Saturday.

Reza Nafisi, director general of the Islamic Republic of Iran Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization’s Transit and International Transportation Office, said as per the agreement, a total of 1,000 transportation licenses will be issued for trucks to move between the two countries during the next fiscal year (starts on March 21, 2019).

During the meeting, the two sides conferred over issuance of 500 remaining transportation licenses belonging to a previous agreement.

According to Nafisi, of the remaining permits, 200 were allocated to Iranian truckers and will be handed to the transportation companies in near future.

The problems faced by road carriers during freight and passenger transportation and ways of resolving these problems, the prospects for the development of transportation and other topical issues were discussed during the meeting.

According to the offical, the Kazakhstani side has expressed readiness for holding a joint meeting on launching a Ro-Ro (roll-on/roll-off) route between Aktau Port and one of the Iranian ports of Amirabad or Bandar Anzali, in the northern Gilan province.

Ro-Ro ships are vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars, that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle, such as a self-propelled modular transporter. The transport model has significant advantages, such as considerably less voyage time, speedy cargo handling, and low costs which may also enable the diversification.

Nafisi added that expanding transit routes will enhance Iran’s position among the regional countries, and expressed the private sector’s readiness to invest in  the prospective plan.

Reportedly, Iran-Kazakhstan trade volume exceeds $400 million per year, and the two countries envisage to increase the amount up to $2 billion.