Russian, Iranian and Indian heads of transportation departments to speak about "North-South" project implementation

Russian, Iranian and Indian heads of transportation departments will speak about the implementation of the "North-South" International Transport Corridor /ITC/ project. This was disclosed to a RIA Novosti correspondent by the "North-South" ITC Secretary Mohammad Jawad Takheriyan in the wake of the meeting in St Petersburg on May 21st.

According to him, after the meeting the "North-South" ITC will officially take effect and the statute of the co-ordinating council of the road junction implementation will be signed. The Parliaments of the three countries had already ratified the ITC agreement, Takheriyan recalled. Moreover, the representatives of the countries, wishing to participate in the implementation of the project, will also take part in the St Petersburg meeting, the ITC Secretary remarked.

It was planned to consider in the course of the meting an issue concerning the membership of the five countries - Belorussia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and Armenia. The "North-South" is the most considerable agreement, concerning the transportation connection of Asia with Europe, Takheriyan underlined. The Islamic Republic of Iran will be represented by Iranian Transportation Minister Ahmad Khorran and his Deputy Masoud Khansari, the ITC Secretary said. He expressed hopes, that the implementation of the ITC would conduce to cooperation and unity of the participating countries, and the volume of the goods turnover would be growing from day to day.

"The corridor begins in India and through the Oman and Persian Gulfs continues on the Iranian territory ports "Bender-Abbas", "Enzeli" and "Amir-Abbad". Then the goods are transported by the Caspian Sea through the "Olya" port and further forwarded to Moscow and Saint Petersburg. It is important, that from the Russian cities the freight traffic moves to European countries, the Secretary said.

According to Takheriyan, the ITC "North-South" co-ordinating council, which is to be formed at the meeting, will have to solve existing problems and difficulties in the implementation of the project, and to control and analyse the work of the transportation way. Among the main problems, the Secretary outlined a reduction of conveyance terms, reduction of transportation expenses, simplification and unification of documents processing and of administrative procedures. According to Takheriyan, at the present moment Iran processes 5 mln metric tons of transit cargo and intends to increase this volume up to 10 mln metric tons.

Having various transport corridors, Iran gives preferences to the ITC "North-South", because it is the most time-saving transport connection between Asia and Europe, and demands small expenses, the Secretary stressed.

According to Takheriyan, the transportation of goods by the ITC will be cheaper and faster than by the Suez Canal, for instance. The ITC "North-South" transportation expenses are 30% less than the other existing transit routes between Asia and Europe, and is shorter by 40%.

Moreover, it is necessary to point out the advantages and peculiarities of the ITC low transportation tariffs, economy of time and combined type of transportation /by sea, by road, by railway/, Takheriyan said. All the project participants will benefit from its implementation. The implementation and the development of the corridor will help to expand trade and economic contacts between all the engaged countries, Takheriyan added.

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