EghtesadOnline: Iran’s Minister for Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi expressed interest in exploring avenues available under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The minister is leading a high-level delegation that visited Karachi Port Trust on Friday, the Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported.
Akhoundi also showed interest in transshipment cargo handling. He said Iran is keen on working with Pakistan for linking Karachi Port with Bandar Abbas, developing tourism and facilitating the exchange of pilgrims.
He further said 204,000 hectares are available at Bandar Abbas for promoting transshipment and cargo handling, Financial Tribune reported.
KPT Chairman Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar briefed the Iranian delegation about various projects. He said the port is currently working on the expansion program under the 10-Year Karachi Port Improvement Plan.
The Iranian delegation took keen interest in the deepwater container port project of KPT and other potential projects, including the multipurpose bulk terminal, cargo village, LNG terminal and port elevated expressway.
The KPT chairman said special care has been taken for opening up investment opportunities in the marine sector for private sector.
The Iranian delegation was also given a tour of the South Asia Pakistan Terminals Ltd at the Deepwater Container Port.
CPEC is a collection of infrastructure projects currently under construction across Pakistan. The corridor is intended to modernize Pakistani infrastructure and strengthen its economy by setting up modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects and special economic zones.
On 13 November 2016, CPEC became partly operational when Chinese cargo was transported overland to Gwadar Port for onward maritime shipment to Africa and West Asia, while some major power projects were commissioned by late 2017.
A vast network of highways and railroads is to be built under the aegis of CPEC across Pakistan.
“The successful completion of CPEC would further boost Pakistan-Iran cooperation as transit hub for the region,” said Pakistan’s Ambassador to Iran Asif Durrani during a reception to commemorate the 78th Pakistan’s National Day in Tehran, Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
In a meeting with Pakistani Minister for Railway Khawaja Saad Rafique on Thursday, Akhoundi showed interest in a rail linkup between Gwadar and Chabahar, the Pakistani daily Business recorder reported.
Both sides showed interest in strengthening the rail linkup by upgrading the 1959 agreement between the two countries.
Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Railways Saad Rafique also welcomed Iranian companies to upgrade the Quetta–Taftan section on BOT basis.
The meeting was also attended by MP Aleem Yar Mohammadi, Governor General of Sistan-Baluchistan Province Danyal Mohebbi and a member of the Board of Directors at the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways Hossein Ashouri.