Iran, Afghanistan reach new customs deal
KABUL (Pajhwok): Heads of Iranian and Afghan customs offices have reached a preliminary agreement on the creation of a transit-oriented green customs path, a media report said on Tuesday.
The agreement was reached during a meeting in Tehran between Deputy Economy Minister and the Head of Islamic Republic of Iran's Customs Administration (IRICA) Masoud Karbasian and his Afghan counterpart Ahmad Reshad Popal, Tehran-based MNA news agency reported.
The deal’s implementation will turn Chabahr port city into an exports and imports hub for Afghanistan by providing Afghan traders and economic activists the opportunity to transit goods in the shortest possible time.
Activation of Chabahar Free Trade Zone will offer more suitable conditions for economic activity in several border cities of the two neighboring countries.
Karbasian said as two ancient countries, Iran and Afghanistan enjoyed common cultures and languages and development of Afghanistan would mark an honor for Iran since expansion of bilateral relations would create deeper ties between the two states.
The IRICA head, while urging the Afghan side to remove obstacles at Mahirud border markets, said “India-Afghanistan-Iran path marks one of the best transit corridors and the visit of Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah to Chabahar indicates its importance to the neighboring country.”
Karbasian went on to enumerate major axes for expansion of customs ties between the two parties including provision of draft for a new customs agreement, electronic exchange of customs data as well as creation of joint border gates.
Director General of Afghanistan Customs Department Ahmad Reshad Popal, for his part, said the meeting mainly aimed to create excellent trade and transit ties with Iran.
“Existing barriers can be removed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU),” highlighted the Afghan official, proposing the idea of adding a customs office to boost trade between Iran and Afghanistan.”
Popal expressed satisfaction towards available infrastructure in border areas and outlined Chabahar as the best transport corridor for his country.
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