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News > Minister Akhoundi Attends the Joint Iran-India Trade Seminar in New Delhi

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Iran’s Minister of Roads & Urban Development Visits India

Minister Akhoundi Attends the Joint Iran-India Trade Seminar in New Delhi

Dr. Akhoundi, Islamic Republic of Iran’s Minister of Roads & Urban Development, who has travelled at the head of a large delegation consisting of representatives from the public and private sector of Iran, attended the joint Iran-India trade seminar on Wednesday 10th of January 2018.

In his address, Minister Akhoundi underlined the unique position and role of Iran in the transit of goods via the existing corridors, particularly the North-South Corridor, and highlighted the role of the port of Chabahar in reducing both the time and cost of transiting goods in the region.

Minister Akhoundi emphasized the necessity of cooperation between countries in the region for proper utilization of the existing potentialities of regional corridors by means of commercialization of transit routes, the integrative corridor management, development of logistical centers, constant engagement between the traders and software and hardware development.

Mr. Akhoundi said that Iran, India, Afghanistan and all the other stakeholders in the Chabahar port should join forces for operationalization of Chabahar Port.

He added that Iran and India in their cooperation have focused on the International North-South Corridor (INSC) which passes from India and Iran and reaches Russia. However, there are two other corridors which shall not escape our attention: the second corridor heads towards the West and Europe and the third transit corridor goes from Iran towards the East, passes through Afghanistan and the Central Asia and reaches China.

Regarding Iran’s role in completion of transit projects, the Iranian Minister said that the Astara Railway which joins the countries of Iran and Azerbaijan in the north of Iran has been completed and will be inaugurated next week. Meanwhile, another railway which goes from Qazvin to Rasht in the north-west of Iran will be completed in the upcoming three months which will be continued up to city of Astara in Iran. Therefore, we have a two-way access through our ports to the west and Russia. The Minister said that this project is highly important as it connects southern Asia through railway to Russia.

Given the two countries’ joint efforts in implementation of railway and transportation projects, Dr. Akhoundi expressed hope that the year 2018 be a turning point in the history of bilateral cooperation.

He said that the roads and railway sector has developed to a great extent in Iran, yet the important matter is how we are capable of commercializing this corridor.

The Minister underscored the pivotal role of the private sectors in Iran and India in commercialization of the port of Chabahar.

To expand the bilateral cooperation in other areas such as energy, Dr. Akhoundi said that India can establish a joint company in Iran to use Iran’s gas. To that effect, the two countries can make logistical centers in Chabahar in order to reduce costs with respect to urea and phosphate fertilizers for example which is attractive to the Indian side. This way, the final costs for production of these commodities are reduced. This objective can be achieved in two ways, either by the Indian government to buy gas from Iran and to do all the other stages in their our own country, or by establishing a company in the Free Zone or any other location in Iran in order for India to acquire part of the added value in Iran. So, we need to focus on developing the logistics chain.

Dr. Akhoundi reiterated that Iran considers Chabahar “the Gate to Connect Nations”, that no country may achieve prosperity by itself alone and that Iran stands ready to promote relations with India in all areas.


The seminar continued with questions and answers going on between speakers, members of the panels and interested participants.  



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