ran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) says the value of exports to Afghanistan is expected to reach $5 billion in the calendar year to March 2022.
TPO chief Hamid Zadboum said on Sunday that exports through the eastern Iranian border had increased in the nine months to late December.
Iran sent 5.2 million metric tons of shipments to Afghanistan in the 9-month period earning $1.7 billion, said Zadboum.
The TPO and the Iranian customs office (IRICA) expect the annual value of exports to Afghanistan to reach nearly $3 billion in the year to March 2021.
Iran opened a key railway into Afghanistan in early December as it seeks to have broader access to markets both in Afghanistan and other landlocked countries in the Central Asia region.
The trade route would further flourish once the Afghan government finishes a remaining section of the railway to connect it to the city of Herat.
Iran is also laying tracks for a key railway that links the coasts of the Sea of Oman to the southwestern regions of Afghanistan. Experts believe the railway will provide a major economic lifeline for Afghanistan as the country will be able to trade with India and other countries through the Indian Ocean.
Iran has been increasingly relying on non-oil exports as a source of earning hard currency as the country’s trade of crude has been hampered both by the American sanctions and the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
TPO’s Zadboum said the value of Iran’s non-oil exports in the nine months to December 21 had exceeded $25.1 billion for 58.2 million tons of cargoes.