The completion and launch of the Rasht-Astara railway opens the way for the expansion of trade relations in the region, the Ambassador of Iran to Azerbaijan Javad Jahangirzadeh said during a joint meeting of representatives of the public and private sectors of the province of Gilan in northern Iran, IRNA reported July 16.
Recalling the recommendations of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to accelerate the implementation of the project, the ambassador noted that the railway and its use is like a "giant oil well".
Jahangirzadeh said the railway can serve for creation of new jobs in addition to the export of agricultural products and other goods.
He also noted that the annual trade turnover between Iran and Azerbaijan currently exceeds $500 million, and the volume of oil trade in the total volume of bilateral trade is about $350 million.
The Rasht-Astara railway is part of the North-South transport corridor, which is designed to connect northern Europe with south-east Asia, and in particular to integrate the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia. It is planned to transport five million tons of cargo per year along the corridor at the first stage, and more than 10 million tons of cargo in the future.
The Qazvin-Rasht-Astara (Iran) - Astara (Azerbaijan) railway is part of the North-South transport corridor, which will connect northern Europe with south-east Asia, in particular by connecting the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia.
It is planned to transport six million tons of cargo per year along the North-South corridor at the first stage, and 15-20 million tons of cargo in the future.
The cargo will pass through India and further through the Persian Gulf, Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia in the direction of the Scandinavian countries and northern Europe in just 14 days.
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