Economy, Domestic Economy
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Transport Relations With Kazakhstan to Boost Trade

Kazakhstan’s new seaport in the north of Aktau is capable of unloading 80,000 tons of grain simultaneously with new cranes.Kazakhstan’s new seaport in the north of Aktau is capable of unloading 80,000 tons of grain simultaneously with new cranes.
A new shipping route recently opened between the northern port and free trade zone of Anzali in Mazandaran Province and a newly-developed seaport in the north of Aktau

Transport ties between Iran and Kazakhstan are thriving with the establishment of a new direct flight between the two countries’ Caspian regions and the launch of a new shipping route.

As of Tuesday, a new flight will operate between the city of Gorgan in Iran’s northern Golestan Province and the port city of Aktau in Kazakhstan’s Caspian region of Mangystau.

“The Eurasian country’s Beck Air will fly a 104-seat Fokker 100, once a week between the two cities,” ISNA quoted director general of Golestan Airport Bureau, Teymour Amiri, as saying on Saturday.

According to the official, the establishment of direct flight was agreed upon in a meeting between the executives of Golestan Airports Bureau, Golestan Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture and a Kazakh delegation in Gorgan on Wednesday.

“Members of Golestan’s chamber and Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Iran have been planning the direct flight for six months. Many Kazakh traders live in Golestan Province. And we are witnessing growth in trade ties between Kazakhstan and Iran,” Amiri said,

The new flight comes a few weeks after Kazakhstan’s award-winning airline Air Astana launched a new non-stop flight from Almaty to Tehran to facilitate travel and expand business and cultural links between the two states. Flights, operating thrice a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays), are served by Embraer 190 aircraft.

  New Shipping Route

Last week, a new shipping route was inaugurated between the northern port and free trade zone of Anzali in Mazandaran Province and a newly-developed seaport in Aktau.

Iran’s “Viana” vessel, which belongs to Khazar Sea Shipping Lines, docked at the port to become the first international ship to make a call at the new wharf.

“This is the first Iranian ship that has arrived for loading at the new Aktau seaport,” deputy governor of Mangystau, Rakimbek Amirzhanov, was quoted as saying by Astana Times.

The seaport became operational in the summer of 2015, operating by far as a domestic seaport as it did not have a customs office.

The northern seaport is capable of unloading 80,000 tons of grain simultaneously with new cranes. It will be used to import Iranian goods, especially oranges and mandarins that are not grown in Kazakhstan, Amirzhanov said, adding that this will enhance bilateral cooperation and make these products cheaper in Kazakhstan.

“It is very important that we can have Iranian mandarins on our tables on New Year’s Eve and they will be cheaper than last year, despite the devaluation of the tenge,” he added.

The deputy governor also noted that the new international seaport will help make Kazakhstan’s grain and metal competitive.

The Iranian vessel was loaded with 45 tons of Kazakh metal and grain to be shipped to Iran.

Iran’s Ministry of Roads and Urban Development subsidizes all Iranian vessels that use Kazakh seaports to help cover their expenses. This makes shipping via Kazakh seaports profitable for Iranian buyers of Kazakh metal and grain.

Consul General of Iran in Aktau Mahmoud Adib also congratulated Amirzhanov on the event.

“The opening of the northern and southern corridors will enable Kazakhstan to enhance cooperation with Iran to go beyond the sea to the oceans,” he said.

“We plan to transport up to 200 tons of metal from Kazakhstan to Iran by the end of October.”

  Downtrend in Bilateral Trade

According to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, Iran exported $137.2 million worth of goods to the Caspian neighbor in the last Iranian fiscal year (March 2015-16), registering a 34% decline compared with the previous year. Imports stood at $87.6 million, down 51% over the preceding year.

The latest data on bilateral trade pertain to the first four months of the current Iranian year (started March 20), when Iran exported 86,800 tons of non-oil goods worth $45.5 million to Kazakhstan, registering a 13% decline in value, and imported 111,600 tons of goods worth $29.2 million, indicating a 7% decrease year-on-year. Pistachios, dates, raisins, tomato paste, carpet, stone and cement were the main exports. Imports mainly included grain, lentil, linseed, steel products, machinery, wood, industrial tools and pipes.

Financialtribune.com