EghtesadOnline: Completion of Tajikistan's Anzob Tunnel next year with the help of Iran’s private companies can help consolidate two-way relations.
Sohrab Mirzazadeh, Tajikistan's deputy minister of transport made the statement Sunday in Tehran on the sidelines of a meeting with officials of the National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company of Iran (Abfa), ILNA reported.
Expressing the hope that the project can be completed in 2020, he said, "Joint ventures can help pave the way for building closer economic ties."
Anzob is a 5-kilometer long tunnel which connects the Tajik capital Dushanbe to Khujand, its second largest city, according to Financial Tribune.
The tunnel is strategic in that it can put an end to Uzbekistan's possible intention to halt traffic between Tajikistan's two largest cities (the two neighbors have long had border disputes) and allow travelers to bypass Uzbek territory, saving them at least four hours, he said.
The project started in 2006 and is being completed by Sabir Company, specializing in the construction of large structures, dams and power plants. It is estimated to cost $10.5 million, half of which has been funded by the Dushanbe government, he added.
Qasem Taqizadeh Khamesi, a deputy energy minister in Abfa and one of the participants in the meeting expressed the hope that bilateral collaboration can be extended as there are many projects that could be undertaken by Iranian water and power enterprises.
Iran’s water and power industry is present in 40 international markets as exporter of goods and services under engineering, procurement and construction contracts.
Iranian companies are active in Iraq and Syria as the two biggest overseas markets.
"They have 58 projects in Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Oman and India."
The Iran-Tajikistan Chamber of Commerce was established in 2018 in Tehran with the aim of boosting bilateral trade. The two states share many cultural commonalities.
According to Mohammad Reza Karbasi, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture's deputy for international affairs, Iran-Tajik trade reached $500 million in 2014.