The head of Chabahar free trade zone, Hamid Ali Mubaraki, said that some of the Afghan companies will jointly invest in the port along with Iranian investors.
“Up to now, at least 110 Afghan and Afghan-Iranian companies have registered to invest in Chabahar Port and most of them have started work in the area,” he said.
“We want to help Afghans invest in the port by providing them with different opportunities,” he added. Tolo News reported.
Logistically, Chabahar port is the closest harbor to Afghanistan. It is 700km closer than the other Iranian port, Bandar Abbas Port. It is also 1,000 kms closer than Karachi Port in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, officials from the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) urged Iran to prepare the ground for loading and unloading of cargo ships in the port.
They said the cost of shipping goods should drop by 50 percent for Afghan businessmen if they use Chabahar Port.
“Afghanistan will be able to find its place as a transit hub for Asian and Central Asian countries – once the Chabahar Port is activated,” said Khan Jan Alokozai, the deputy head of the ACCI.
High tariffs and shakedowns from local officials have been a persistent problem for many in the Afghan business community trying to get their goods through Pakistan. Therefore, analysts in economic affairs term Chabahar as a good alternative for Afghan traders instead of Karachi Port.
Beyond the purely economic benefits of the port, analysts said the project will also help enhance broader diplomatic ties between Afghanistan, India and Iran.