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    Afghans formally start exports via Iranian port

    KABUL (PAN): Afghan product exports through the Chabahar Port in southeastern Iran began on Saturday, an official of the Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan (EPAA) said.

    EPPA spokesman Abdul Qadeer Mustafa, in an exclusive chat with Pajhwok Afghan News, hoped the development would significantly boost exports from the landlocked country.

    Exports through Pakistan’s Karachi port had not been economical for Afghan entrepreneurs because of high storage cost and political restrictions.

    “But it doesn’t mean an end to exports via the Wagah border between Pakistan and India.  However, the Chabahar option is more economical and profitable for Afghanistan,” he added.

    Via the Iranian port, the EPAA spokesman explained, Afghanistan’s dry fruit would be sent to India, Kazakhstan, Gulf and European states in an easier way.  

    “For the first time in our history, we will be directly dispatching our products to India,” Mustafa said, adding some dry-fruit shipments left Chabahar today.

    The port, a significant commercial venture, is the shortest transit way to Afghanistan. In August 2012, a trilateral meeting between deputy foreign ministers from Iran, Afghanistan and Indian was held in Tehran.

    “The objective of the meeting was to explore ways to expand trade and transit cooperation, including investment among the three countries starting with Chabahar Port,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul said.

    Initiated by the Iranian side, the trilateral meeting took place on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Tehran. Officials discussed key political, economic and international issues and regional security.