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EghtesadOnline: The first official cross-border retail market for local traders opened on the Siran Band-Baneh border in Iran’s western Kurdistan region with the aim of improving the livelihoods of border couriers, referred to as ‘Kulbaran’ in Kurdish, the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration reported.

Under the plan, the border couriers will receive electronic cards providing them monthly duty discounts on 5 million rials ($111) worth of purchases at the market.

With the implementation of this plan, the proceeds from local marketing will directly benefit the border residents, IRICA’s statement read. 

Border couriers are people of mainly Kurdish-dominated provinces of West Azarbaijan, Kermanshah and Kurdestan who carry contraband on their backs through mountainous areas to earn their livelihood, Financial Tribune reported.

They usually carry the goods from areas bordering Iraq and Turkey to the nearest villages in Iran and from there the goods are transported to cities by road.

The tragic death of 16 border couriers in an avalanche last year prompted the government to introduce a series of measures to improve their dire economic conditions, by offering social security coverage and setting up local markets.

 

Kurdestan Iran border couriers Iran Cross-Border Retail Market