The transport and logistics cooperation took a prominent part in negotiations held on Wednesday, 14 September between the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan and President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran.
The parties agreed that the establishment of road transportation along the Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran route, the effective utilization of the Chabahar port’s potential, and the facilitation of conditions for the entry and transit of goods will contribute to the expansion of opportunities in this area.
As a result of the negotiations, a memorandum was signed on the implementation of international cargo transportation and transit through the Chabahar port.
It should be noted that Uzbekistan has been negotiating a joint use of Chabahar on the coast of the Gulf of Oman in the Arabian Sea with Iran and India since 2020.
These efforts are being undertaken as part of Tashkent’s aspirations to diversify access to marine routes and strengthen connectivity between Central Asia and South Asia. However, for these plans to come to fruition, Uzbekistan, as a double-landlocked country (neighbors also lack access to the open seas), must rely on Turkmenistan, whose infrastructure and territory provide the shortest and most reliable transit to the south.
In addition, Uzbekistan is determined to use the potential of the Iranian harbor to expand trade with Iran and India. The trade between Uzbekistan and Iran is expanding steadily. It posted 75% growth in 2021 and has grown by 15% so far this year.
Uzbekistan and India are jointly implementing over 80 projects worth over US $3 billion. Improving logistics between the two countries is essential for furthering cooperation. In this regard, Uzbekistan has already proposed to launch pilot container transportation on the route Tashkent – Sarakhs (border crossing with Turkmenistan) – Chabahar – the port of Nhava Sheva (Mumbai).
In August of this year, on the sidelines of the ministerial conference of landlocked countries in Avaza, the Minister of Transport of Uzbekistan Ilkhom Makhkamov had bilateral talks with the Minister of Roads and Urban Development of Iran Rostam Ghasemi. The parties agreed on the organization of pilot road freight transportation through Chabahar. ///nCa, 15 September 2022