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Trans Eurasia Rail Network Completion To Boost Trade With Iran
6 Jan 2015
It is now a month since Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Ak-Yayla, an out of the way border village in Turkmenistan, on Wednesday 3rd December to join leaders of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan for the inaugural opening of a new freight link across Central Asia, hampered by set-backs and welcomed by Iran's business community.
The significance of the success of the new rail route cannot be under-estimated for the three countries’ growth in business links and successful project management across borders. Although the primary objective of the rail network is to speed up delivery of goods between Europe and Asia via freight trains, business travel will now also be much easier.
Iran’s northern city of Gorgan, near the Caspian Sea is now connected to a 577-mile rail line to Ozen in western Kazakhstan, via Turkmenistan in the north. This North-South Corridor will bring a much needed boost to import and export business opportunities throughout Eurasia. This has not gone unnoticed in news agencies as far as Russia's, with Tass acknowledging that trade sanctions against Iran and Russia in force from Europe and the US.
The BBC recently reported that there will now be "limited, temporary, and targeted relief" from sanctions targeting Iran’s key energy and financial sectors, which have wrought havoc on the economy and business owners in Iran in recent years.
Now, freight forwarding from Europe, through Central Asia will show an increase in activity at Iran's Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas, where there is significant freight shipping onward to China. This improved cross Eurasia to China freight train route can now deliver foreign goods in as little 13 days, compared to the 22 days this journey took in the past. Rail freight took a much more elongated route to reach the Indian Ocean ports which serve global markets, making for higher costs of doing business internationally. International project management for Iranian exporters is now more feasible and affordable because of this Central Asia rail link.
Turkmenistan's 440-mile leg of the rail route began construction five years ago and was the final link in the chain between nations of Central Asia. International Railway Journal reported the delayed completion as being down to an Iranian contractor missing construction deadlines; the railway was due to be opened in 2012.
Kazinform news agency reported that Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev believes that the celebrated route could triple the volume of rail freight between his country, Iran and Turkmenistan; levels of freight forwarding could reach 10 million tons a year and possibly 20 million tons in five years from now.
As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said, this north-south rail link is historically significant for the region because it not only facilitates more trade from the Mediterranean it opens up the expanding economies of India, Pakistan and China and the three linked countries have a wide range of resources to trade. The White Rose Group hope to benefit from a stronger business outlook this forthcoming year. Industries the White Rose Group hope to attract as potential successful project management partners include: energy, textile manufacturers, mineral companiess, machinery and household and luxury goods manufacturers, food-stuff producers, amongst others.
In accordance with Transparency International, an international monitor of levels of corruption across countries, The White Rose Group is keen to operate on a basis of open and fair business practices in its own project planning and management with all our partners and for reliable and profitable business deals to become the norm for business with Iran and abroad. Trusting business relationships, built with the future in mind, will mean more businesses can share in each other’s success. We celebrate the increasing opportunities arising from the completed rail freight route and look forward to a more prosperous 2015 for all of our existing and potential business partners.