Chabahar International Transport and Transit Corridor
The International Transport and Transit Corridor (also known as the “Chabahar Agreement”) is a regional transport network initiative of the governments of Afghanistan, India, and Iran. It aims to create a reliable transport corridor for the smooth transport and transit of goods and services through Chabahar Port between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of India, and Islamic Republic of Iran. Among the advantages for Afghan and Indian participation in this initiative include Chabahar’s location at the crossroads of a burgeoning “North-South Corridor” (linking Central Asia, Southwest Asia, and South Asia), investment guarantees through the Iranian government and insurance companies, importation of duty-free machinery and raw materials, the free repatriation of capital and profits, and greater access by Indian companies to Afghanistan’s immense mineral wealth. Positioned as a major conduit of Indian and Iranian trade with Central Asia and Europe, Afghanistan is poised to benefit from and contribute to this new transport and transit corridor.
On 23 May 2016, the International Transport and Transit Corridor Agreement (Chabahar Agreement) was signed, in Tehran, Iran, by the Afghan Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, H.E. Dr. Muhammadullah Batash, the Indian Minister of Shipping, Road Transport, and Highways, H.E. Nitin Gadkari, and the Iranian Ministry of Road and Urban Development, H.E. Abbas Akhoundi. Later approved by the Cabinet of the Afghan Government on 3 August 2016 (though still requiring parliamentary ratification), the Chabahar Agreement represents a commitment to regulate the international transport and transit of goods and passengers through the territories of Afghanistan, Iran, and India, as carried out by any modes of transportation along the routes approved by the Coordination Council (in accordance with Article 9 of the Agreement). More specifically, the Agreement aims to: 1) Facilitate access to international markets by using land,sea, and/or air transportation through Chabahar Port; and 2) Simplify, harmonize, and standardize procedures governing the international transport and transit of goods and passengers, in accordance with the international agreements and conventions in which the three signatory governments are members. It builds on the recent introduction of fifty Afghan companies to the Chabahar Free Trade Industrial Zone, using land purchased by the Afghan Government. The Agreement also represents a pillar of the Afghan Government’s Infrastructure and Connectivity Development National Priority Program.
Recommended Actions by RECCA-VII and Beyond:
- Continue to support key Chabahar Port infrastructure improvements, including transforming the Multi-Purpose Post into an Oil Terminal (2016) and constructing a Multi-Purpose Terminal (2018) and Container Terminal (2020).
- Support related Chabahar Free Zone rail, air, shipping, and gas pipeline projects.
|Budget & Funding Status||Feasibility studies currently ongoing|
|Institutional Partners||Afghanistan, India, Iran|