Caspian Ports Confab Underway
Economy, Domestic Economy

Caspian Ports Confab Underway

Regional sustainable development hinges on shared economic interests and mutual trade exchanges between the Caspian Sea littoral states, said deputy minister of roads and urban development, Mohammad Saeedinejad, on Monday. Addressing the opening ceremony of the Seventh Conference of Directors of Caspian Sea Ports in Amirabad Special Economic Zone in Mazandaran Province, Saeedinejad viewed as unsatisfactory the $200-million trade between the Caspian Sea states compared to $19 trillion global trade in 2014 and said to raise the domestic figure, expansion of transit and macro investments in the ports should come to the fore.  
Saeedinejad, who also heads Ports and Maritime Organization, also called for the establishment of a center to exchange trade information between the Caspian states, IRNA reported.
Development of Anzali, Noshahr, Fereidounkenar, Amirabad and Astara ports has topped the government’s agenda in recent years.
With regard to the rail and road links between these ports and those of the Persian Gulf, Iran can play a pivotal role in connecting Caspian states to high seas and international waters.
The PMO chief underlined the importance of safeguarding marine environment, increasing maritime safety and expansion of trade cooperation to reach sustainable development in the region.
“All-out cooperation with the neighboring countries and constructive collaboration with the Caspian Sea littoral states are among the main priorities of the Iranian government,” said Governor of Mazandaran Province Rabi Fallah, who was also present at the event.
“Four ports of Mazandaran Province have the potential of playing a significant role in increasing trade among the regional countries in transit and energy. In fact, Iran has prepared the ground for the development of oil and gas transit among the regional states,” he said.
Stepping up maritime and port cooperation, sharing the Caspian states’ maritime expertise, promoting trade between the countries, attracting investment from the private sector to develop port infrastructure and developing maritime tourism in the Caspian Sea are some of the main topics set to be discussed at the conference.
The directors of 13 ports of Russia, Azerbaijan Republic, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran are attending the conference slated for November 16-17.
The sixth joint meeting of the five-way port managers of the Caspian countries was held in Astrakhan, Russia, in September 2013.

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