Official Highlights Iran’s Role in Promotion of Regional, Extra-Regional Transportation Routes

Official Highlights Iran’s Role in Promotion of Regional, Extra-Regional Transportation Routes

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Iranian deputy foreign minister underlined the significance of corridors in the Islamic Republic’s economic diplomacy and the country’s position as a developing transit country.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mahdi Safari delivered a speech at the International Conference of Transport of Landlocked Developing Countries in Turkmenistan.

On the second day of the conference and during a session focusing on the status of corridors in promotion of transport and trade particularly in landlocked developing states, he elaborated on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s position and views as a developing transit country.

He pointed to the challenges facing transit in landlocked countries and said the enhancement of transit and transportation routes in the region was among Iran’s priorities.

Iran’s active and constructive role in regional and multilateral initiatives for the promotion of regional and extra-regional transportation routes stems from that priority, Safari said, according to the Foreign Ministry’s website.

The deputy foreign minister said, “Corridors are not merely a tool for transportation but one for the expansion of trade and promotion of national, regional and global economy. The enhancement of connectivity through corridors leads to the enhancement of commerce and lasting economic growth for countries and societies along the corridors, and the terms ‘trade corridors’ and ‘economic corridors’ have been created for that reason. In other words, corridors are an instrument for economic development of the developing states, including the landlocked ones.”

Out of the 32 landlocked developing countries in the world, eight (namely Afghanistan, Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) have bilateral and multilateral transit exchanges with Iran, Safari said.

“Some of the corridors in our region have connected several transit countries and several landlocked states, something that indicates participation in efforts to decrease the vulnerability of landlocked countries and help them lower the costs of trade and have easier access to the global markets. This is while the countries of transit in our region are facing infrastructural, financial and technological challenges and should enjoy support from the international community,” the deputy foreign minister said.

He emphasized the necessity of adopting a systemic approach toward lasting and effective corridor-related cooperation between the countries of transit and the landlocked ones. The factors of such an approach, the official added, are a centralized and unified reference for the management of corridors, establishment of a unified corridor regime, and the adoption of a holistic approach to financing the infrastructure for each corridor.

“Each corridor should be counted as an investment or financing project of its own, while the needs of the transit countries and landlocked countries along [the corridor] should also be viewed as a single package,” he said.

Safari said the international community should mobilize the resources to assist the landlocked developing states within the framework of an “international mechanism for financing corridors.”

In order for the corridors to boost the economies of the landlocked developing countries, the world community should fulfill its commitments, while all related regional and international institutions, such as the World Customs Organization (WCO), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the United Nations’ regional commissions, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), development banks and global financial bodies, should draft “the global program for supporting corridors,” with specified goals and time frames, under the leadership of the United Nations.

The International Conference of Transport of Landlocked Developing Countries was held on August 15-16 in the Turkmen city of Turkmenbashi.



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