Chah Bahar Port to Facilitate Strong Trade Ties Between Afghanistan, India and Iran



On Wednesday, Indian Embassy officials, emphasising on the importance of the Chah Bahar port for India and Afghanistan, said that the port will pave the way for strengthening business ties with India, Afghanistan and Iran. The officials added that India is eager to trade with Afghan businessmen through this port.

Chah Bahar is a free port (Free Trade Zone) in Iran and located on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. Chah Bahar is Iran’s southernmost city. The Chah Bahar port has been officially designated as a Free Trade and Industrial Zone by Iran’s government. Due to its free trade zone status, the city has an increased significance for international trade.

According to the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industry, trade and transit related issue with Pakistan is hampering the overall health of the Afghan economy. Under such circumstances, the Chah Bahar port could be the best alternative for Afghanistan to enter the Indian and Iranian markets. This will help in expanding its trade and commerce relations with the two countries.

Indian authorities added that the Chah Bahar port was the most suitable port for initiating commercial activities and strengthen its relations with Afghanistan.

“We are committed to develop the Chah Bahar port in collaboration with the Iranian government. Implementation of the project will give the three countries an opportunity to expand its trade and transit relations through the Delaram-Zaranj route, which is also connected to several ring-roads of Afghanistan,” said Amar Sinha, Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan.

“Efforts should be made to expand trade and investment relations between Afghanistan and India. A lucrative opportunity exists in the local Afghan markets for Indian products. Similarly, India is a good market for the fresh and dry fruits of Afghanistan. Hence, it is advisable for both countries to find the cheapest and safest route for expansion of trade relations,” added Mr. Sinha.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries criticised the Pakistani government for violating the Bilateral Trade and Transit Agreement (BTTA) signed between the two countries and accused it of not letting the Afghan traders enter Wagah border.

Elaborating on the issue, the Afghan Minister of Commerce and Industry, Anwarulhaq Ahadi said, “Problems with Pakistan still exist. These issues should be settled quickly. If we get direct access to the domestic Indian markets, we can increase our exports to India.”

According to the BTTA, Afghan traders are permitted to enter all the ports of Pakistan, including the Wagah port, located alongside the India-Pakistan border. But, Pakistan has stopped allowing the Afghan traders to export their commodities to India through the border in Wagah.

In light of the issue, Afghan traders said that they are trying to seek an alternative to the Karachi port in order to import and export goods without any restrictions.

The BTTA was signed by Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1965. However, at a later stage Pakistan refused to endorse some articles in the Agreement because of its growing tensions with India. In recent years, Afghanistan struggled to mount pressure on Pakistan to abide by the provisions of the BTTA. Finally, the 1965 Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit agreement was amended and signed by the heads of the two countries in 2010. According to the amended Agreement, Afghanistan got some trade and transit rights and was permitted to enter all the ports of Pakistan.

Unfortunately, Pakistan stopped following the new BTTA and started creating hurdles with an aim to prevent the Afghan traders from gaining access to the ports of the country. The Pakistani government justified its action by saying that the Afghan traders must unload their goods at the Karachi port since they had no right to use any other port. Additionally, Pakistan increased the transit duties on Afghan products and sought financial guarantee from the Afghan businessmen.

These issues compelled the Afghan traders to find an alternative for Pakistani ports. Finally, the Iranian Chah Bahar port was zeroed in, as it was the most suitable port and India also backed Afghanistan to focus on the port.

Recent efforts made by the Indian government to develop the Chah Bahar port and initiate bilateral talks with the Iranian officials has once again diverted the attention of Afghan traders toward Chah Bahar.


Discussion9 Comments

  1. I bet the Pakis hate this port, and wish that it fails…. I bet..

    It is brilliant that there is an all-weather road built in Afghanistan linking it to this port – to ensure that the Pakis cannot stop the Afghans from trading. Well done India. Well done Iran.

  2. @ thebombman… goo luck to u and ur endia. Keep living in dreams… endia has been trying to make strong hold in afghanistan for last 12 years no succeed yet. Whenever US gone from afghanistan… Karzai will be gone, then endia will be gone, and Iran is not that dumb to invest in such risky business.

    • I pray that WHATEVER you wish for Afghanistan is given back to you twofold.

      May you be over-run by Taliban, and may all your women be forced to stay indoors, denied education and wear garbage bag burkhas. May you not have TV, Computers and may you all go back to the stone age.

      After all, if you wish that for Afghanistan – you should be ready for it yourself

  3. You Hanu’d of India should realise the ground reality.

    What roads will go to ChahBahar post 2014 🙂
    What is the state of those roads today 🙂

    This is about Central Asia and West Asia, the rat worshipping idolators have little say regardless how much chest you thump.

    The sons of Abdali, Zaman Shah, Nadir Shah, Ghauri and the sons of Aurangzaib have a shared history regardless of what you Sons of the dirty filthy cesspit Ganges think.

    • lol and that one of your misconceptions…

      Why dont you go into Afghanistan and try build a RAM MANDIR there and see how much they love you???

      Afgahns and PAkistan are brothers till end….. the amount Pakistan has done for afghan India will never be able to do…

      The puppets like Karzai and Inteligent agencies can bark much as they want… but the general public of Afghanistan is with Pakistan hence only these top general of Afghanistan bark and dont carry out anyting as public wont back them… it is Pakistan that hosts all the afghans and refugees and provided with house to live under even Karzai just check the history of him…

      So please go and speak yur shit to those who are puppets and DO NOT try ever speak for GENERAL PUBLIC of AFGHANISTAN…. as they are PRO PAKISTAN and will always be…

  4. If Afghans hate Pakistanis then why don’t you as a Hindu go visit Afghanistan.

    If Afghans hate Pakistanis why is Karachi the most populos Afghan city in the world. Afghans who now have Pakistani citizenship and have settled ni Pakistan.

    The dominant group are the Pashtuns and there ar emore Pashtuns in Karachi, Khyber and Pakthunkwa than in Afghanistan.

    We Pakistani share a culture, history, geography and great love for the Afghans because we were one before the British.

    There was a history before the British you know and The Indus Valley was part of every Khorasani empire the last bieng Mughal.

    The sons of Abdali, Ghauri, Ghazni live in Pakistan as they do in Afghanistan.

    The sons of Nadir Shah and Zaman Shah also amde this there home and we lived as a family, brothers, tied by blood and history.

    If any of us cross the beautiful Indus to the East and the more south we travel tot he stench of The Ganges we feel alien, foreign and have zero affiliation with The Indians.

    North Indians are our legacy and we can not even be at home there.

    So to Indians I say, by all means come to Afghanistan and more importantly put your boots on the grounds to support the mayor of his compound in Qabul – Karzai and realise the love Afghans will have for Indians.

    You dare not do that because the Hindu Kush will once again be alive and Kashmir would very quickly become liberated and we Kashmiris would enjoin with the rst of our brothers in West & Central Asia to whom we belong with.

Leave A Reply