KABUL: In a latest development, Tehran and Kabul have reached crucial trade agreements to enhance their bilateral relations.
Iranian Trade Promotion Organization chief Hamidreza Karbalaie Esmaili visited Afghanistan recently with a vision to strengthen trade ties between the two neighboring countries, particularly in the fields of technical and engineering services, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, petrochemical products, and the food industry.
During the visit, he held discussions and met with Taliban’s economic, commercial, and medical officials, including Taliban’s acting Minister of Public Health, the first deputy of the Chamber of Commerce and Investment, Director-General of Afghanistan Customs, deputy and senior advisor to acting Minister of Trade, Consul General of Iran in Herat, Border Guard Commissioner, and the Director-General of Dogharoun Customs, according to TPO.
Following fruitful discussions, both sides reached initial agreements to advance several infrastructure projects and decided to initiate negotiations on a preferential trade agreement, as well as expanding customs cooperation.
As part of the talks, a list of 10 commodity items was prepared for the implementation of the first phase of the preferential trade agreement. It is anticipated that the number of items will increase in the near future.
Furthermore, agreements were made to establish a joint industrial zone at the border between the two countries. Iran will provide the necessary energy infrastructure, while Afghan businessmen will collaborate with the Iranian private sector to invest in establishing the zone.
Afghanistan also expressed its readiness to open a transit route from Pakistan to Iran’s Khorasan Razavi Province via the Taftan-Chaman-Islam Qala-Mashhad route. This will significantly reduce the distance between the two countries from 1500 kilometers (km) to less than 1000 km.
Additionally, the parties agreed on the acceptance of elite Afghan students in various medical and non-medical fields at universities in Iran. They also discussed bilateral cooperation for specialized training of Afghan medical staff by sending Iranian professors to Afghanistan.
These agreements mark an important milestone in the trade relations between Afghanistan and Iran, paving the way for increased economic cooperation and mutual benefits.