Economy, Domestic Economy

ICM Gateway to Global Trade

ICM Gateway to Global TradeICM Gateway to Global Trade

Integrated coastal management (ICM) will significantly improve Iran’s access to global trade, Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi said on Monday.

“Iran has always sought to increase its share of global trade and ICM proves to be vital in facilitating the process through international waters,” he said addressing the 1th international conference on coasts, ports and marine structures held in Tehran, IRNA reported.

The government considers ICM as a long-term solution to the problems facing the country’s coastlines. Iran has two separate coastlines on its northern and southern borders – about 3000 km long in total. The northern coastal area is over-populated and its environmentally sensitive and unique habitat must be protected from destruction. On the southern front, most coastal areas are undeveloped and deserted.

Akhoundi said Iran’s coastlines, which he described as being among the safest ones in the world, have to be equipped with modern technologies to increase productivity.

“Chabahar Port is due to be expanded and 8 million tons of different commodities are to be loaded and unloaded through the southern port,” he said.

“Chabahar should be linked to northern coastlines, the Mediterranean, China, Central Asia and Europe,” he said. “To that end, we are planning to develop the third phase of Shahid Rajaee port, for which $250 million is needed.”

The Rouhani administration is also planning to invest around $350 million for the development of Shahid Beheshti Port, in a bid to expand ties with neighboring countries.

Pointing to the sparse population of coastal areas in southern part of the country, the minister said, 70 percent of the country’s population is based in metropolises while southern coastal areas are deserted. “It is expected that people will flock into these areas once businesses start operating in the region.”

In order for ICM to be effectively carried out 18 different executive bodies have to cooperate, said Mohammad Saeed-nejad, the managing director of Iran’s Ports and Navigation Organization, speaking at the same conference, without identifying the entities.

“The issue of unemployment especially in southern coasts and ports should be solved and it seems that the development of maritime industries and businesses can play a very effective role in this regard,” he said.

“The biggest problem in southern coastal areas is that there is no proper route connecting these areas to the mainland, which has led to a rise in unemployment in the region,” Saeed-nejad said, expressing hope that the government will speed up developing ports in the south of the country.