Rail & Railways
Iran exported 41,535 tons of commodities to Azerbaijan from its northern Astara railway terminal during the first two months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-May 20), which was 178 percent more than the figure of the same period of time in the past year, according to a railway official.
The managing director of north railway Gholam-Hossein Valadi told IRNA that cement, clinker, chemical products, tiles, steel, and home appliances were among the goods exported to Azerbaijan.
As previously reported, the value of exports from Iran’s northern Gilan Province during the first two months of the present year rose 16 percent compared to the same period of time in the previous year, according to a provincial official.
Farhad Dalq-Poush, the director-general of Gilan Province’s Industry, Mining and Trade Department told IRNA that 166,000 tons of commodities worth $80 million have been exported from the province during the mentioned two-month period.
With a share of 180 tons of goods valued at $33,000, Astara County accounted for the biggest part of the province’s two-month exports, the official said, adding Astara has special trading capacities and can operate as Iran's export center in the north of the country.
Astara Port is the westernmost Iranian city on the southern coasts of the Caspian Sea with a population of 91,000 people. The city also borders the Azerbaijan Republic.
In early March 2017, Azerbaijan officially launched a rail link with Iran by sending a train across the border to Iran’s northern city of Astara thus taking an ambitious multimodal transport project that connects northern Europe to India closer to reality, Press TV reported at the time.
The train arrived in Iran simultaneously with a visit to the Islamic Republic by Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev where he discussed the implementation of the North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.
Aliyev told reporters after meeting Rouhani that the NSTC was an important project, stressing that it could have positive effects on the economies of its host countries.
The NSTC is a multi-modal route to link India and West Asia to the Caucasus, Central Asia and Europe.
The ship, road and rail route connects India’s Mumbai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas and further to Baku in Azerbaijan as well as Astrakhan, Moscow and St Petersburg in Russia before stretching to northern Europe and Scandinavia.
In addition to Iran, India and Russia, countries that are on board to integrate into the transit network include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Turkey, Tajikistan, Oman, Syria and Bulgaria.