By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Iran and Uzbekistan will open a direct flight line, Iranian Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade of Iran Reza Rahmani has said.
"We are planning to set up a direct flight line between Iran and Uzbekistan in a permanent manner, and use national currencies in financial transactions" Rahamni said while meeting with Uzbekistan's Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade in Tashkent on December 11.
He noted that the way is clear for boosting economic collaboration with Uzbekistan, adding that signing preferential trade tariff memorandum of understanding will pave the way for further improving cooperation.
Rahmani further underlined the important role of North-South Corridor in promoting trade and economic and trade exchanges between countries in the north of Iran and south of Persian Gulf and North African states.
He stressed that implementation of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSCT) trade and economic capacities will connect countries in the north of Iran to those located in its south by the Persian Gulf and North African thus giving rise to new opportunities for boosting trade cooperation among the countries.
"Iran is ready to create a transit route for transferring goods from these countries to Uzbekistan without any limitation," he said.
He considers there are rare capacities for boosting cooperation, and expressed hope that the 13th Iran-Uzbekistan Joint Cooperation Summit will be a turning point for enhancing mutual cooperation.
Rahmani arrived in Tashkent at the head of an economic delegation late on December 11.
Earlier, during a recent conference in Tehran, Rahmani said that Iran as INSCT member state will interlink the Caspian states to the Central Asian countries to boost trade relations between Caspian Sea littoral states in the north and the Central Asian countries in the south.
INSTC is a 7,200-km-long multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road route for moving freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe. The route primarily involves moving freight from India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia via ship, rail and road.
The project is designed for increasing trade connectivity between major cities such as Mumbai, Moscow, Tehran, Baku, Bandar Abbas, Astrakhan, Bandar Anzali, etc.
The primary objective of the INSTC project is to reduce costs in terms of time and money over the traditional route currently being used. Analysts predict by having improved transport connectivity between Russia, Central Asia, Iran and India their respective bilateral trade volumes will increase.