Representatives of an Indian and an Iranian firm arrived in Kabul to negotiate with Afghan officials over a possible investment in the newly-established shipping industry of Afghanistan, said officials.
The firms sent their representatives to the capital, Kabul, and have expressed their high interest of investment in shipping—something that would include purchasing vessels.
Deputy Minister for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Transport, Imam Mohammad Warimach, said that the country’s shipping line would start working initially in the strategic Chabahar port and it would be expanded to other ports.
To kick off the shipping line, however, the first step was to register country’s shipping line with International Maritime Organization.
But Mohammad Younus Moman, Deputy CEO of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce, expressed skepticism over the available facilities in the port.
Investment in Chabahar port plays vital role in expanding the port, which has particular promise as a means of access to the Indian Ocean for landlocked Afghanistan. Experts believe that Chabahar port will cut dependency of Afghanistan on Pakistan’s port of Gwadar and Karachi port.
In May 2016, Iran and India signed a deal to equip and operate containers and multi-purpose terminals with the capital investment of $85.21 million and annual revenue expenditures of 22.95 million on a 10-year-lease.
To support the port, The U.S. State Department exempted Chabahar port from sanctions in recognition of its importance to Afghanistan’s economy.