EghtesadOnline: With the arrival of an Iranian vessel at the Caspian Port in Gilan Province’s Anzali Free Trade Zone, the China-Kazakhstan-Iran Multimodal Corridor was officially launched on Tuesday.
First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri and Roads Minister Abbas Akhoundi attended the ceremony.
The corridor starts off as a rail route from Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region in the far northwest of China, and reaches Kazakhstan’s Aktau Port, located on the east bank of the Caspian Sea. Then goods are loaded onto vessels before they are transported to the newly launched Caspian Port in Anzali Free Trade Zone.
The new transit route reduces travel time and transport expenses, according to Financial Tribune.
According to Roads Ministry's website, the first vessel contained 40 containers loaded with automotive spare parts, which arrived at the Caspian port after crossing the corridor’s multimodal rail-marine route.
Speaking during the event, Jahangiri that revival of the silk road can play a key role in the development of Iran.
He also said that Iran is keen on enhancing commercial ties with China and central Asian states as it helps strengthen the country's economy.
Last week, Jahangiri designated Caspian Port as one of the country’s official marine trading borders for vehicles, passengers and cargo imported to and exported from Iran in a communiqué to the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development and the High Council of Free Zones on Tuesday.
Once the project is completed, the port will be the largest in northern Iran and make a major contribution to national and local economic development.
At the initial stage, it is planned to transport 6 million tons of cargo per year through the corridor and 15-20 million tons of cargo in the future.