India launches trade route to Afghanistan via Iranian Chabhar Port

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(Tehran Times)- India launched a trade route to Afghanistan via Iran through shipping its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan on Sunday, bypassing longtime rival Pakistan.

The shipment was sent from the western seaport of Kandla. It will be taken by trucks to Afghanistan from Iran’s southeastern Chabahar Port, AP reported.

The new trade route follows an air freight corridor introduced between India and Afghanistan in June last year to provide greater access for Afghan goods to the Indian market.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Sunday that the shipment marked the convergence among India, Afghanistan and Iran to spur an unhindered flow of commerce and trade throughout the region.

“I believe that this is the starting point of our journey to realize the full spectrum of connectivity – from culture to commerce, from traditions to technology, from investments to IT, from services to strategy and from people to politics,” Swaraj said.

India, Afghanistan and Iran last year decided to jointly establish a trade route for land-locked Central Asian countries. India committed up to $500 million for the development of Iran’s Chabahar Port along with associated roads and rail lines.

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